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Compare p. 479. 

A. The Northern celestial Pole in the zenith. 

A B. The axis of the heavens in perpendicular position. 

C D. The axis of the Earth in perpendicular position. 

I I I I. The abode of the supreme God, or gods. 

2, 3, 4. Europe, Asia, and the known portion of Africa. 

555. The Earth-surrounding equatorial Ocean-river. 

666. The abode of disembodied human souls. 

7777. The abode of demons. 

C. Location of submerged Eden. 

C A. " The Strength of the Hill of Sion." 



A Study of the Prehistoric World 







New York: 11 East Seventeenth Street 

##, Camfcri&ge 

Copyright, 1885, 

All rights reserved. 

The Riverside Press, Cambridge : 
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company. 






THIS book is not the work of a dreamer. Neither 
has it proceeded from a love of learned paradox. 
Nor yet is it a cunningly devised fable aimed at 
particular tendencies in current science, philosophy, 
or religion. It is a thoroughly serious and sincere 
attempt to present what is to the author s mind 
the true and final solution of one of the greatest 
and most fascinating of all problems connected 
with the history of mankind. 

That this true solution has not been furnished 
before is not strange. The suggestion that primi 
tive Eden was at the Arctic Pole seems at first 
sight the most incredible of all wild and willful 
paradoxes. And it is only within the lifetime of 
our own generation that the progress of geological 
discovery has relieved the hypothesis of fatal ante 
cedent improbability. Moreover, when one consid 
ers the enormous variety and breadth of the fields 
from which its evidences of truth must be derived ; 
when one remembers how recent are those com 
parative sciences on whose results the argument 
must chiefly depend ; when one observes that many 
of the most striking of our alleged proofs, both in 


the physical and in the anthropological domain, 
are precisely the latest of the conclusions of these 
most modern of all sciences, it is easy to see that 
a generation ago the demonstration here attempted 
could not have been given. Even five years ago 
some of the most interesting and cogent of our 
arguments would as yet have been lacking. 

The interest which has so long invested our 
problem, and which has prompted so many at 
tempts to solve it, was never greater than to-day. 
The lapse of centuries has rendered many another 
question antiquated, but not this. On the con 
trary, the more the modern world has advanced in 
new knowledge, the more exigent has grown the 
necessity of finding a valid solution. Men are feel 
ing as never before that until the starting-point of 
human history can be determined, the historian, 
the archaeologist, and the paleontological anthro 
pologist are all working in the dark. It is seen 
that without this desideratum the ethnologist, the 
philologist, the mythographer, the theologian, the 
sociologist can none of them construct anything 
not liable to profound modification, if not to utter 
overthrow, the moment any new light shall be 
thrown upon the mother-region and the prehistoric 
movements of the human race. Every anthropolog 
ical science, therefore, and every science related to 
anthropology, seems at the present moment to be 
standing in a state of dubitant expectancy, will 
ing to work a little tentatively, but conscious of 


its destitution of the needful primal datum, and 
conscious of its consequent lack of a valid struc 
tural law. 

To the believer in Revelation, or even in the 
most ancient and venerable Ethnic Traditions, the 
volume here presented will be found to possess un 
common interest. For many years the public mind 
has been schooled in a narrow naturalism, which 
has in its world-view as little room for the ex 
traordinary as it has for the supernatural. Decade 
after decade the representatives of this teaching 
have been measuring the natural phenomena of 
every age and of every place by the petty measur 
ing rod of their own local and temporary experience. 
So long and so successfully have they dogmatized 
on the constancy of Nature s laws and the uniform 
ity of Nature s forces that of late it has required 
no small degree of courage to enable an intelligent 
man to stand up in the face of his generation and 
avow his personal faith in the early existence of 
men of gigantic stature and of almost millenarian 
longevity. Especially have clergymen and Chris 
tian teachers and writers upon Biblical history 
been embarrassed by the popular incredulity on 
these subjects, and not infrequently by a conscious 
ness that this incredulity was in some measure 
shared by themselves. To all such, and indeed 
to all the broader minded among the naturalists 
themselves, a new philosophy of primeval history - 
a philosophy which for all the alleged extraordinary 


effects provides the adequate extraordinary causes 
cannot fail to prove most welcome. 

The execution of the plan of the book is by no 
means all that the author could desire. To the 
elaboration of so vast an argument, the materials 
for which must be gleaned from every possible field 
of knowledge, the broadest and profoundest scholar 
might well devote the undistracted labor of a life 
time. To the writer, loaded with the cares of a 
laborious executive office, there were lacking both 
the leisure and the equipment otherwise attainable 
for so high a task. The best he could do was to 
turn one or two summer vacations into work-time 
and give the result to the world. Of the correct 
ness of his position he has no doubt, and of the 
preparedness of the scientific world to accept it he 
is also confident. 

To the foregoing remarks it may be proper to add 
that apart from its immediate purpose the book has 
interest, and, it is hoped, value as a contribution to 
the infant science of Comparative Mythology. By 
the application of the author s " True Key to An 
cient Cosmology and Mythical Geography," it has 
been possible to adjust and interpret a great va 
riety of ancient cosmological and geographical no 
tions never before understood by modern scholars. 
For example, the origin and significance of the 
Chinvat Bridge are here for the first time explained. 
The indication of the polocentric character com 
mon to the mythical systems of sacred geography 


among all ancient peoples will probably be new to 
every reader. The new light thrown upon such 
questions as those relating to the direction of the 
Sacred Quarter, the location of the Abode of the 
Dead, the character and position of the Cosmical 
Tree, the course of the backward-flowing Ocean- 
river, the correlation of the " Navels " of Earth and 
Heaven, not to enumerate other points, can 
hardly fail to attract the lively attention of all stu 
dents and teachers of ancient mythology and myth 
ical geography. 

To teachers of Homer the fresh contributions to 
ward a right understanding of Homeric cosmology 
are sure to prove of value. And if, in the end, trie 
work may only lead to a systematic and intelligent 
teaching of the long neglected, but most important 
science of ancient cosmology and mythical geog 
raphy in all reputable universities and classical 
schools, it will surely not have been written in vain. 

That the author has escaped all errors and over 
sights while ranging through so numerous and such 
diverse fields of investigation, many of which are 
but just opened to the pioneering specialist, is too 
much to expect. He only asks that any such blem 
ishes which a more competent scholarship may de 
tect, or which the progress of new learning may 
yet bring to light, may not be allowed to prejudice 
the force of true arguments, but may be pointed out 
in the spirit of a candid and helpful criticism. 

In conclusion, the author respectfully commits 


his work to all truth-seeking spirits, not less to 
the patient investigators of nature than to the stu 
dents of history, of literature, and of religion. Par 
ticularly would he commend it to all those yearning 
and waiting Konigssohnen whose experience has 
been described by Hans Andersen in the words, 
" Es war einmal ein Konigssohn ; Niemand hatte so 
viele und schb ne Bucher wie er ; Alles, was in dieser 
Welt geschehen, konnte er darin lesen, und die Ab- 
bildungen in prachtigen Kupferstichen erblicken. 
Von jedem Volke und jedem Lande konnte er 
Auskunft erhalten ; aber wo der Garten des Para- 
dieses zu finden sei, davon stand kein Wort darin ; 
und der, gerade der war es, an dem er am meisten 

W. F. W. 

1 The same, being interpreted, read as follows : " Once upon a 
time there was a king s son ; nobody had so many and such beau 
tiful books as he. In these all that had ever happened in the world 
he could read and see depicted in splendid engravings. Of every 
people and of every land could he get information, but as to where 
the Garden of Eden was, not a word was to be found therein ; 
and this, just this it was, on which he meditated most of all." 



PREFACE . . . ( viii 




Columbus approaching the gate . . . > : . * . . 3 

The report of Sir John de Maundeville . . .-*. 7 

Adventures of Prince Eirek Io 

The voyages of St. Brandan and of Oger 12 

The success of the author of The Book of Enoch . , -- 4 . . 20 

An equestrian s anticipations 21 

David Livingstone a searcher for Eden 22 

Unanimous verdict : Non est inventus 22 



Ideas of the church fathers . . . . ^ , . .23 

Opinions of Luther and of Calvin 25 

Contemporary opinion entirely conflicting . . . . .25 
Inconclusive character of the Biblical data .... 26 

The garden " eastward" 27 

The " Euphrates " 28 

The problem " unsolved if not insoluble " 32 




The unity of the human species 33 

But one " mother-region " 33 

Its location ten different answers . . . ... .35 

Views of Darwin, Hackel, Peschel, etc. . . . i . -35 

Views of Quatrefages, Obry, etc. . , . . . .36 

Locations of lost Atlantis 38 

Theory of Friedrich Delitzsch 39 

Theory of E. Beauvois 41 

Theory of Gerald Massey 42 

The Utopians 43 

Despair of a solution .43 






Statement of the hypothesis . . 47 

Seven sciences to be satisfied , 48 



Seven peculiarities of a polar Eden 50 

Our hypothesis consequently most difficult 53 

Its certain break-down if not true 53 




Popular prepossessions 57 

Secular refrigeration of the earth 57 


Inevitable implications of the doctrine 58 

Bearing of these upon our problem 59 



Length of the polar day 60 

Mistakes of Geikie and Lyell 60 

The actual duration of daylight 61 

Experience of Weyprecht and Payer 62 

Experience of Barentz 63 

Citation from Baron Nordenskjold 63 

The statement of Captain Pirn 64 

The explanation of discrepancies 65 

A safe settlement of the question 66 

The polar night 68 

Aspects and progress of the polar day 69 

A paradisaic abode 70 



A primitive circumpolar continent 71 

Anticipated by Klee 71 

Speculations of Wallace 72 

Postulated by Professor Heer 73 

Also by Baron Nordenskjold 73 

Testimony of Starkie Gardner . . . . . . .74 

Testimony of Geikie 74 

Theories as to its submergence 75 

Adhemar s theory 75 

Theory of tidal action 75 

Leibnitz s theory of crust-collapse 79 

Summary of evidence under this head 82 



Primeval temperature at the Pole 83 

The evidence of scientific geogony . . . . . .84 

The evidence of paleontological botany 84 

Testimony of life-history 85 

Estimates of Professor Heer 85 

Declaration of Sir Charles Lyell 86 

Conclusion . . .86 




The starting-point of all floral types 87 

A remarkable recent discovery .87 

Sir Joseph Hooker . . . .88 

The contribution of Heer 89 

Of Professor Asa Gray . . .90 

The claim of Count Saporta . . 90 

The conclusions of Otto Kuntze 92 



Geographical distribution of animals 93 

First remarkable fact . . . . . 93 

Second remarkable fact 94 

Language of Professor Orton 94 

Language of Professor Packard 94 

Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace cited 95 

Conclusion 95 



One traveler who has been in Eden 97 

His note-books lost 97 

What says Paleoethnique science ? 97 

The first conclusions of Quatrefages 9 8 

His premonitions of a new doctrine 9 8 

Count Saporta s conclusions 99 

F. Muller and M. Wagner s views Io 

Anthropogony by virtue of ice and cold IO 

An unacceptable theory IO1 



A word from Principal Dawson I( 

Summary of results thus far . . . . .102 

An unexpected reinforcement IO 3 

" Where did Life Begin ? " IO 3 

Confirmatory extracts IO 4 





The mistaken modern assumption 117 

The "True Key" 120 

General statement 121 

The " Mountain of the World " 123 

The same in Egyptian Mythology 124 

In the Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian .... 126 

In the Chinese . .-. ; . 128 

In the Indo-Aryan 129 

In the Buddhistic . . .131 

In the Iranian 133 

In the Greek and Roman ". Y 135 

The Underworld 137 

Cautions as to interpretation . . . . . . . 137 

The chorography of Christian hymns . . . ; ". 138 



The most ancient Japanese book . ........... . . . 140 

Japanese cosmogony . . . . ... .. ... 140 

Izanagi s spear ...... . 140 

" The Island of the Congealed Drop " . . . . . 141 

Sir Edward Reed places it at the Pole ...... 141 

Mr. Griffis reaches the same conclusion ..... 141 



The Tauist paradise . . . ; . . -. . . 143 

Descriptions . . . . . . . -; . 143 

The stupendous world-pillar . . 144 

Connects the terrestrial and celestial paradises . . . ; 145 

Same idea in the Talmud . . . : [ i v . 145 

" The Strength of the Hill of Sion " . ;. -. V : . 145 

Shang-te s upper and lower palaces 146 

At the celestial and terrestrial Poles 146 




The world of the Brahmans 148 

The abode of Yama 149 

The varshas of the upper world 150 

The northward journey to Mount Meru 150 

The descent to Uttarakuru 151 

Illustrations of the Puranic world 151 

Ilavrita, the Hindu s Eden 151 

Its north polar position 151 

Lenormant s language 151 

Ritter s unwitting testimony 154 

" The polar region is Meru " 154 

"Meru the Garden of the Tree of Life " 154 



The primitive pair and their abode 155 

Key to the Iranian cosmography 155 

The Chinvat Bridge 155 

Current misinterpretations 156 

Twelve questions answered 156 

True nature of the bridge 158 

Its position . 1 58 

Position of Kvaniras 158 

The mythic geography of the Persians 159 

Diagram of the Keshvares 159 

Polar position of " Iran the Ancient " . . . . . . 161 



The sacred mountain . .163 

Chaldasan cosmology ,- . 163 

Lenormant s exposition , , , . 163 

Three inconsistencies . . . . . . ..-... 165 

Location of the world-mountain 166 

Lenormant s difficulties 166 

The true solution 168 

Two Akkads 168 

The mount of the Underworld 169 

It determines the site of Kharsak 170 

And this the site of the Akkadian Eden 171 




Underestimates of Egyptian science 172 

Six theses in Egyptian cosmology 173 

Its earth a sphere 174 

Northern and southern termini 174 

Four supports of heaven at the North 174 

A parallel in Buddhist cosmology 175 

The southern hemisphere the Underworld 176 

The highest North the abode of the gods 179 

An interesting hieroglyph 179 

Plato s Egyptian Eden-story 181 



Supposed discrepancies of tradition 182 

Possible agreement 182 

A reminiscence of Mount Meru 183 

Renan and Lenormant 183 

Lost Atlantis . . . . ." 184 

Deukalion, a man of the North . 186 

The Isles of Kronos . . . 187 

The Golden Age 187 

Wolfgang Menzel s verdict . , . . _ , . . . 187 

Conclusion and transition . 187 





Stellar motion at the Pole . . . : .-:,. . . . .191 

Has tradition any reminiscence of such ? . . . . 191 

The strange doctrine of Anaxagoras . . . . . . 191 

Chaldaean and Egyptian traditions 193 

A natural explanation . . .* . : . . . . 194 

The myth of Phaethon . . . ; : . . 195 

Iranian and Aztec traditions . 196 

Result 196 




Length of day at the Pole . . ." ". . . . . 197 

Sunrise in the South . . . . . . , . 197 

The tradition of the Northmen . ,. .. . . . . 197 

The tradition of the ancient Persians ... . . . 197 

The tradition of the East Aryans . . . " . . . i .198 

The year- day of Homer ... . . .."" . . . 200 

The tradition of the Navajos . . . . . . x . 201 



The polar zenith is the Pole . 202 

This the true heaven of the first men v . . . 202 
The Hebrew conception . .. ... . . ^ 203 

The Egyptian conception . . . . . . . 208 

The Akkadian conception . . 209 

The Assyrio- Babylonian conception . . . , . 209 

The Sabaean conception 210 

The Vedic conception . . .... . . 210 

The Buddhistic conception . . . . . . . .211 

The Phoenician conception . 212 

The Greek conception . . . . . . . .212 
The Etruscan and Roman conception . . ,. . . 213 

The Japanese conception . . . .215 

The Chinese conception 215 

The ancient Germanic conception 217 

The ancient Finnic conception .218 

How came the Biblical Eden to be in the East ? . . . .219 

Solution of the problem . 219 

Confirmations and illustrations 222 



Prevalence of the expression 225 

Its symbolical and commemorative character .... 228 

The Jerusalem earth-centre 234 

That of the Greeks . . . . . . . . . 234 

That of the Babylonians . . . , * . . . . 239 

That of the Hindus ......... 240 


That of the Persians 243 

That of the Chinese 244 

That of the Japanese 245 

That of the Northmen 246 

That of the Mexicans 246 

That of the Peruvians and others 247 

Result 248 



Origin and nature of this river 250 

Sacred hydrography of the Persians 251 

All waters have one headspring 251 

Also one place of discharge .251 

Exposition of the system 252 

Similar ideas among the Greeks 254 

The Vedic system 257 

The Puranic 259 

Traces in Christian legend 260 



The tree in the midst of the garden 262 

Were there two ? * . . . 262 

Its inevitable significance if at the North Pole .. -..:.;! j . 263 

The Yggdrasil of the Northmen 264 

The World-tree of the Akkadians 264 

The Tat-pillar of the Egyptians 265 

The Winged Oak of the Phoenicians 266 

The White Horn of the Persians . , , ,, ,,.,,,,. . 267 
The cosmic Asvattha of the Hindus . . . . 269 

The holy Palm of the Greeks 270 

The Bodhi tree of the Buddhists . . . . . . .271 

The Irmensul of the Saxons 272 

The Arbre Sec of the Middle Ages 273 

The Tong of the Chinese 274 

The World-reed of the Navajos 274 

The Apple-tree of Avalon 276 

The star-bearing World-tree of the Finns 276 




Ethnic traditions of the Earth s deterioration .... 279 

Also of the deterioration of mankind 281 

Stature and longevity of primeval men 281 

All credible on our hypothesis . . .*. .", . 284 

Language of Professor Nicholson 285 

A citation from Figuier . . . ,,.. . . . . 285 

The gigantic Sequoia of Arctic origin 286 

Animal life in the Tertiary period . . . , . . 289 

Primitive forms by no means monstrosities 294 

All this wealth of fauna from the North 297 



Nature of the argument 300 

Seven tests applicable to any location . . . . 300 

Seven others peculiar to a location at the Pole .... 300 

A double demonstration . . 301 

Bailly s approximation to the truth 303 

Another independent line of evidence 303 

Philosophy of previous failures . ." . . . . . 304 

Philosophy of mediaeval confusion . 304 

Patristic descriptions made plain 305 

The world of Cosmas Indicopleustes 35 

The world of Columbus . . 36 

The world of Dante 37 

How highest heaven came to be under foot 39 





The sciences immediately affected 3 T 3 

The services of biology to archaeology 3 T 4 

The services of archaeology to biology 3*4 

Narrowness of many biologists 3*5 

Evils thereof . 3*5 


The true corrective 317 

The latest generalization of paleontology 317 

Anticipated in two Persian myths 317 

Terrestrial life-gamut of the Hindus 319 

Its lesson to students of the Origin of Life . . . -319 

Extraordinary biological conditions 320 

Most favorable of all at the Poles 320 

Biological superiority of the North Pole 321 

Reasons to be more fully investigated 322 

Heightened fascination of polar exploration . . . . 325 



Darwin s primeval man 326 

His discovery of the sky . . . . . . . .327 

And of trees of infinite height 327 

The " short memories " of Vedic worshipers .... 327 

Their ocean-producing imaginations . ^.- . . . 328 

Bunbury on Homeric science . .- . . . . 328 

Exegetical distortions of ancient thought . . ;<; . . . 328 
Homer s cosmology re-expounded . . . ; : . . " . 329 
First, as to the movement of the sun * , .- . . . 329 
Second, as to the location of Hades . . . . . . 332 

Third, as to the cosmic water-system . . Y ; . . 333 
Fourth, as to the Olympos of the gods . * . . 338 
Fifth, as to the tall pillars of Atlas . . . . . . 350 

The exegetical method dictated by our results . . . . 359 

Its fruitfulness in the future . . . . . . . . 360 



The pan-ethnic account . r . . . . . . 363 

Hume s dissent . : . . . 364 

The doctrine of Comte .. . . 369 

Miiller s refutation of primitive fetichism . . . -. . 370 

Sir John Lubbock s scheme 372 

Refutation by Roskoff and others . . . . . . 375 

Caspari s theory 375 

The theory of Jules Baissac 382 


Current approximations of teaching 385 

As to the origin of the arts 386 

As to intellectual powers of the first men 386 

As to their super-fetichistic attitude 390 

As to their monogamous family form 392 

As to their capacity for monotheism 397 

Seven conclusions "... 403 



The apostles of primeval savagery 407 

Their doctrine 407 

Sub-savage stupidity of the first men 408 

Dr. Wilhelm Mannhardt s representation 409 

A most important primitive discovery 410 

Daphne not a tree 410 

Emphatic demand for antediluvian longevity .... 410 

The new Babel 411 

Nine memoranda 41 1 

Primeval human history 418 

The ancient ethnic view Biblical and true 419 

Plato s antediluvian age 420 

The consensus of all ancient religions 422 

The " Stone Age " in the light of our results .... 422 

Origin of postdiluvian laws and states 423 

An imaginary conversation 424 

A pagan testimony 43 2 

To those who hear not Moses and the Prophets . . . 43 2 
Conclusion 43 2 


I The Earth of Columbus not a True Sphere . . .435 

II. How the Earth was Peopled 437 

III. Reception of " The True Key " 45 

IV. The Earth and World of the Hindus . . . -459 
V. The World-Pillar of the Rig Veda 465 

VI. Homer s Abode of the Dead 46? 

VII. Latest Polar Research 47 

VIII. Trustworthiness of Early Tradition .... 492 

IX. Index of Authors cited 497 

X. Index to the Work 5 2 



















You shall understand that no mortal may approach to that Paradise ; for by land 
no man may go, for wild beasts that are in the deserts, and for the high mountains 
and great huge rocks that no man may pass by for the dark places that are there ; 
and by the rivers may no man go, for the water runs so roughly and so sharply, be 
cause it comes down so outrageously from the high places above, that it runs in so 
great waves that no ship may row or sail against it ; and the water roars so, and 
makes so huge a noise, and so great a tempest, that no man may hear another in the 
ehip though he. cried with all the might he could. Many great lords have assayed 
with great will many times to pass by those rivers towards Paradise, with full 
great companies ; but they might not speed in their voyage ; and many died for 
weariness of rowing against the strong waves ; and many of them became blind, 
and many deaf, from the noise of the water ; and some perished and were lost in 
the waves ; so that no mortal man may approach to that place without the special 



Man lernt die Welt am besten durch Reisen kennen. 


ONE of the most interesting and pathetic pas 
sages to be found in all literature is that in which 
Christopher Columbus announces to his royal pa 
trons his supposed discovery of the ascent to the 
gate of the long-lost Garden of Eden. With what 
emotions must his heart have thrilled as, steering 
up this ascent, he felt his " ships smoothly rising 
toward the sky," the weather becoming "milder" as 
he rose ! To be so near the Paradise of God s own 
planting, to be the first discoverer of the way in 
which the believing world could at length, after so 
many ages, once more approach its sacred precincts 
even if forbidden to enter, what an exquisite ex 
perience it must have been to the lonely spirit of 
that great explorer ! 

It is his third voyage. He is in the Gulf of Paria 
to the north or north-west of the mouth of the Ori 
noco. In his loyal epistle to Ferdinand and Isabella 
thus he writes : 

The Holy Scriptures record that our Lord made the 
earthly Paradise and planted in it the tree of life ; and 
thence springs a fountain from which the four princi 
pal rivers of the world take their source ; namely, the 


Ganges in India, the Tigris and Euphrates, and the 

I do not find, nor ever have found, any account by the 
Romans or Greeks which fixes in a positive manner the 
site of the terrestrial Paradise, neither have I seen it given 
in any mappe-monde, laid down from authentic sources. 
Some placed it in Ethiopia at the sources of the Nile, but 
others, traversing all these countries, found neither the 
temperature nor the altitude of the sun correspond with 
their ideas respecting it ; nor did it appear that the over 
whelming waters of the deluge had been there. Some 
pagans pretended to adduce arguments to establish that 
it was in the Fortunate Islands, now called the Canaries. 

St. Isidore, Bede, and Strabo l and the Master of scho 
lastic history, 2 with St. Ambrose and Scotus, and all the 
learned theologians agree that the earthly Paradise is in 
the East. 

I have already described my ideas concerning this 
hemisphere and its form, 8 and I have no doubt that if 
I could pass below the equinoctial line after reaching the 
highest point of which I have spoken, I should find a 
much milder temperature and a variation in the stars and 
in the water : not that I suppose that elevated point to 
be navigable, nor even that there is water there ; indeed, 
I believe it is impossible to ascend thither, because I am 
convinced that it is the spot of the earthly Paradise, 
whither no one can go but by God s permission ; but this 
land which your Highnesses have now sent me to explore 
is very extensive, and I think there are many other 
countries in the south, of which the world has never had 
any knowledge. 

I do not suppose that the earthly Paradise is in the 
form of a rugged mountain, as the descriptions of it have 
made it appear, but that it is on the summit of the spot 

1 Walafried Strabus of Reichenau, Baden. 

2 Petrus Comestor, who wrote the Historia Scholastica. 
9 See APPENDIX, Sect. I. 


which I have described as being in the form of the stalk 
[or stem end] of a pear ; the approach to it from a dis 
tance must be by a constant and gradual ascent ; but I 
believe that, as I have already said, no one could ever 
reach the top; I think also that the water I have de 
scribed may proceed from it, though it be far off, and that 
stopping at the place I have just left, it forms this lake. 

There are great indications of this being the terres 
trial Paradise, for its situation coincides with the opinions 
of the holy and wise theologians whom I have mentioned ; 
and, moreover, the other evidences agree with the sup 
position, for I have never either read or heard of fresh 
water coming in so large a quantity, in close conjunction 
with the water of the sea ; the idea is also corroborated 
by the blandness of the temperature; and if the water 
of which I speak does not proceed from the earthly 
Paradise, it seems to be a still greater wonder, for I do 
not believe that there is any river in the world so large 
and deep. 

When I left the Dragon s Mouth, which is the north 
ernmost of the two straits which I have described, and 
which I so named on the day of our lady of August, 1 I 
found that the sea ran so strongly to the westward that 
between the hour of mass, 2 when I weighed anchor, and 
the hour of complines 8 I made sixty-five leagues of four 
miles each ; and not only was the wind not violent, but 
on the contrary very gentle, which confirmed me in the 
conclusion that in sailing southward there is a continu 
ous ascent, while there is a corresponding descent to 
wards the north. 

I hold it for certain that the waters of the sea move 
from east to west with the sky, and that in passing this 
track they hold a more rapid course, and have thus eaten 
away large tracts of land, and hence has resulted this 
great number of islands ; indeed, these islands them- 

1 The feast of the Assumption. 

8 Probably six A. M. 8 Nine P. M. 


selves afford an additional proof of it, for on the one 
hand, all those which lie west and east, or a little more 
obliquely north-west and south-east, are broad; while 
those which lie north and south or north-east and south 
west, that is in a directly contrary direction to the said 
winds, are narrow ; furthermore, that these islands should 
possess the most costly productions is to be accounted 
for by the mild temperature, which comes to them from 
heaven, since these are the most elevated parts of the 
world. It is true that in some parts the waters do not 
appear to take this course, but this only occurs in certain 
spots where they are obstructed by land, and hence they 
appear to take different directions. . . . 

I now return to my subject of the land of Gracia, 
and of the river and lake found there, which latter might 
more properly be called a sea ; for a lake is but a small 
expanse of water, which, when it becomes great, deserves 
the name of a sea, just as we speak of the Sea of Galilee 
and the Dead Sea ; and I think that if the river men 
tioned does not proceed from the terrestrial Paradise, it 
comes from an Immense tract of land situated in the 
south, of which hitherto no knowledge has been obtained. 
But the more I reason on the subject the more satisfied 
I become that the terrestrial Paradise is situated in the 
spot I have described ; and I ground my opinion upon 
the arguments and authorities already quoted. May it 
please the Lord to grant your Highnesses a long life, and 
health and peace, to follow out so noble an investigation ; 
in which I think our Lord will receive great service, 
Spain considerable increase of its greatness, and all 
Christians much consolation and pleasure, because by this 
means the name of our Lord will be published abroad. 1 

Alas for the hope of settling the problem of 
Eden s site by actual exploration ! Columbus never 

1 Select Letters of Christopher Columbus. Translated by R. H. 
Major, F. S. A. 2d ed., London, 1860 : pp. 140-147. 


lived to find his Paradise ; and geographers have 
long ago ascertained that the golden summit of the 
world is not in Venezuela, nor in any of its neighbor 

Of course Columbus supposed himself to be off 
the eastern coast, not of a new continent, but of 
Asia. His idea of the location of the terrestrial 
Paradise as in, or to the eastward of, Farther India 
was the prevailing idea of his age. The Hereford 
map of the world, dating from the thirteenth century, 
represents the favored spot as a circular island to the 
East of India, and as separated from the mainland, 
not only by the sea, but also by a battlemented wall, 
with its one gate to the West, through which our 
first parents were supposed to have been expelled. 
Hugo de St. Victor wrote : " Paradise is a spot in 
the Orient productive of all kinds of woods and 
pomiferous trees. It contains the Tree of Life ; 
there is neither cold nor heat there, but perpetually 
an equable temperature. It contains a fountain 
which flows forth in four rivers." So Gautier de 
Metz, in a poem written in the thirteenth century, 
describes the terrestrial Paradise as situated in 
an unapproachable region in Asia, surrounded by 
flames, and guarded at its only gate by an armed 

In the year 1322 Sir John de Maundeville made 
his memorable pilgrimage to the East. In his ac 
count of these travels, after describing the marvel 
ous kingdom of Prester John in India, he says : 
"And beyond the land and isles and deserts of 
Prester John s lordship, in going straight towards 
the East men find nothing but mountains and great 
rocks ; and there is the dark region where no man 


may see, neither by day nor by night, as they of the 
country say. And that desert and that place of 
darkness lasts from this coast unto terrestrial Para 
dise, where Adam, our first father, and Eve were 
put, who dwelt there but a little while ; and that is 
towards the East, at the beginning of the earth. . . . 
Of Paradise I cannot speak properly, for I was not 
there. It is far beyond ; and I repent not going 
there, but I was not worthy. But as I have heard 
say of wise men beyond I shall tell you with good 
will. Terrestrial Paradise, as wise men say, is the 
highest place of the earth ; and it is so high that it 
nearly touches the circle of the moon there, as the 
moon makes her turn. For it is so high that the 
flood of Noah might not come to it, that would have 
covered all the earth of the world all about and 
above and beneath except Paradise. And this Para 
dise is inclosed all about with a wall, and men know 
not whereof it is ; for the wall is covered all over 
with moss as it seems : and it seems not that the 
wall is natural stone. And that wall stretches from 
the South to the North ; and it has but one entry, 
which is closed with burning fire, so that no man 
that is mortal dare enter. And in the highest place 
of Paradise, exactly in the middle, is a well that 
casts out four streams, which run by divers lands, 
of which the first is called Pison, or Ganges, that 
runs throughout India or Emlak, in which river are 
many precious stones, and much lignum, aloes, and 
much sand of gold. And the other river is called 
Nile, or Gyson, which goes through Ethiopia, and 
after through Egypt. And the other is called Tigris 
which runs by Assyria and by Armenia the Great. 
And the other is called Euphrates, which runs 


through Media, Armenia, and Persia. And men 
there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the 
world, above and beneath, take their beginning from 
the well of Paradise ; and out of that well all waters 
come and go." l 

Various writers and map-makers of the same age 
seem very evidently to have identified the Paradise 
of Genesis with the island of Ceylon. Even to this 
day a mount near the centre of the island bears the 
name of "Adam s Peak." According to Moham 
medan tradition, this was only so called because it 
was the place where Adam alighted when cast out 
of the true celestial Paradise in heaven. Neverthe 
less, Christian tradition or legend long lingered about 
Ceylon as the genuine site of primitive Eden. 2 

In entire accord with this view is the remarkable 
story of Prince Eirek, as told in an Icelandic Saga 
of the fourteenth century. Mr. Baring-Gould, in a 
style not very reverent, has summarized the tale as 
follows : 

1 Early Travels in Palestine. Edited by Thos. Wright, London, 
1848, p. 276. 

2 Even Maundeville, whose Paradise, as we have seen, was still 
farther to the East, found here a Fountain of Youth whose head 
spring was in Paradise : " Toward the head of that forest is the cytee 
of Polombe [Columbo], and above the cytee is a great mountayne, 
also clept Polombe. And of that mount the Cytee hathe his name. 
And at the foot of that Mount is a fayr welle and a gret, that hathe 
odour and savour of all spices ; and at every hour of the day he 
chaungethe his odour and his savour dyversely. And whoso drynk- 
ethe 3 times fasting of that watre of that welle, he is hool of alle 
maner sykenesse that he hathe. And thei that duellen there and 
drynken often of that welle, thei nevere have sykenesse and thei 
semen alle weys yonge. I have dronken there of 3 or 4 sithes ; and 
zit, methinkethe, I fare the better. Some men clepen it the Welle 
of Youthe ; for thei that often drynken thereat semen alle weys 
youngly and lyven withouten sykenesse. And men seyn, that that 
welle comethe out of Paradys ; and therefore it is so vertuous." 


Eirek was a son of Thrand, king of Drontheim, and 
having taken upon him a vow to explore the Deathless 
Land he went to Denmark, where he picked up a friend 
of the same name as himself. They then went to Con 
stantinople, and called upon the Emperor, who held a 
long conversation with them, which is duly reported, rela 
tive to the truths of Christianity and the site of the 
Deathless Land, which, he assures them, is nothing more 
nor less than Paradise. 

" The world," said the monarch, who had not forgotten 
his geography since he left school, "is precisely 180,000 
stages round (about 1,000,000 English miles), and it is 
not propped up on posts, not a bit ! it is supported 
by the power of God ; and the distance between earth 
and heaven is 100,045 m ^ es (another MS. reads 9382 
miles ; the difference is immaterial) ; and round about 
the earth is a big sea called Ocean." " And what s to 
the south of the earth ? " asked Eirek. " Oh ! there is 
the end of the world, and that is India." " And pray 
where am I to find the Deathless Land ? " " That lies 
Paradise, I suppose you mean well, it lies slightly east 
of India." 

Having obtained this information, the two Eireks 
started, furnished with letters from the Greek Emperor. 

They traversed Syria, and took ship, probably at Bal- 
sora ; then, reaching India, they proceeded on their jour 
ney on horseback, till they came to a dense forest, the 
gloom of which was so great, through the interlacing of 
the boughs, that even by day the stars could be observed 
twinkling, as though they were seen from the bottom of a 

On emerging from the forest, the two Eireks came 
upon a strait, separating them from a beautiful land, 
which was unmistakably Paradise ; and the Danish 
Eirek, intent on displaying his Scriptural knowledge, pro 
nounced the strait to be the river Pison. This was 
crossed by a stone bridge, guarded by a dragon. 


The Danish Eirek, deterred by the prospect of an en 
counter with this monster, refused to advance, and even 
endeavored to persuade his friend to give up the attempt 
to enter Paradise as hopeless, after that they had come 
within sight of the favored land. But the Norseman de 
liberately walked, sword in hand, into the maw of the 
dragon, and the next moment, to his infinite surprise and 
delight, found himself liberated from the gloom of the 
monster s interior, and safely placed in Paradise. 

The land was most beautiful, and the grass as gor 
geous as purple ; it was studded with flowers, and was 
traversed by honey rills. The land was extensive and 
level, so that there was not to be seen mountain or hill, 
and the sun shone cloudless, without night and darkness ; 
the calm of the air was great, and there was but a feeble 
murmur of wind, and that which there was breathed red 
olent with the odor of blossoms. After a short walk, 
Eirek observed what certainly must have been a remark 
able object, namely, a tower or steeple self-suspended 
in the air, without any support whatever, though access 
might be had to it by means of a slender ladder. By this 
Eirek ascended into a loft of the tower, and found there 
an excellent cold collation prepared for him. After hav 
ing partaken of this he went to sleep, and in vision beheld 
and conversed with his guardian angel, who promised 
to conduct him back to his fatherland, but to come for 
him again and fetch him away from it forever at the ex 
piration of the tenth year after his return to Drontheim. 

Eirek then retraced his steps to India, unmolested by 
the dragon, which did not affect any surprise at having to 
disgorge him, and, indeed, which seems to have been, 
notwithstanding his looks, but a harmless and passive 

After a tedious journey of seven years, Eirek reached 
his native land, where he related his adventures, to the 
confusion of the heathen, and to the delight and edifi 
cation of the faithful. And in the tenth year, and at 


break of day, as Eirek went to prayer, God s Spirit caught 
him away, and he was never seen again in this world : so 
here ends all we have to say of him. 

Here we get farther than with Columbus, but 
however beautiful and credible this story of Eden- 
exploration may have been five hundred years ago, 
we now know that the only Paradise in Ceylon is a 
symbolical Buddhist one, 1 as far removed from the 
primitive garden of Genesis as Roman Catholic " Cal 
varies" in South America are from the primitive 
Calvary of the crucifixion. Moreover, even the 
scribes of five hundred years ago, however credulous 
in other things, seem well to have understood the 
true character of this story of travel, for " according 
to the majority of the MSS. the story purports to be 
nothing more than a religious novel." 2 

As the Keltic terrestrial Paradise, Avalon, was a 
sea-girt island in the waters of the North, it could 
of course be reached only by ship. The first to ac 
complish this feat, so far as Christian legend informs 
us, was St. Brandan, son of Finlogho, a celebrated 
saint of the Irish Church, who died A. D. 576 or 
577. According to the story an angel brought to 
this good abbot a book from heaven, in which such 
marvelous things were narrated concerning the then 
unknown portions of the world that the honest fa 
ther charged both angel and book with falsehood, 

1 " The Buddhists of Ceylon have endeavored to transform their 
central mountain, Deva-kuta (Peak of the Gods), into Meru, and to 
find four streams descending from its sides to correspond with the 
rivers of their Paradise." Obry, Le Berceau de rEsfece Humaine. 
Amiens, 1858 : p. 118 n. Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde. Bonn, 
1862 : Bd. i., 196. 

2 Baring-Gould, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages. London, 1866 : 
p. 236. 


and in his righteous indignation burned the latter. 
As a punishment for his unbelief God sentenced 
him to recover the book. He must search through 
hell and earth and sea until he finds the heavenly 
gift. The token given him by the angel is that 
when he sees two twin fires flame up he shall know 
that they are the two eyes of a certain ox, and on the 
tongue of that ox he shall find the book. For seven 
long years he sails the Western and the Northern 
Ocean. 1 He here encounters more marvels than 
were recorded in the original incredible book, and 
is even permitted to visit the earthly Paradise. The 
beauty of the soil, of the fountain with four streams, 
of the magnificent castle and castle halls lighted 
with self-luminous stones and adorned with all man 
ner of precious jewels, surpassed description. The 
stay of the party seems, however, to have been short, 
and unfortunately just where the island was located 
the commander forgets to mention. 

A more elaborate and fanciful picture of the same 
mediaeval Paradise is furnished us in the story of 
Oger, or Holger, a Danish knight of the age of 
Charlemagne. In a plain prose rendering, this is 
the style in which a famous court minstrel of six 
hundred years ago was accustomed to chant the 
adventure to admiring audiences. 

Caraheu and Gloriande were in a boat with a fair 
company, and Oger had with him a thousand men-at- 
arms. When they were a certain way on, there arose so 
mighty a tempest that they knew not what to do, only to 
commit their souls to God. So great was the storm that 
the mast of Oger s ship brake, and he was constrained to 

1 Carl Schroeder, Sanct Brandan. Ein lateinischcr und drei 
deutsche Textc. Erlangen, 1871 : pp. xii., xiii. xn& passim. 


embark in a little vessel with a few of his comrades, and 
the wind struck them with such fury that they lost sight 
of Caraheu. Caraheu was so sore troubled that he was 
like to die, and he began to mourn the noble Oger ; for 
he wist not what was become of the boat. And Oger in 
like manner lamented Caraheu. Thus grieved Caraheu 
and the Christians in his company, saying, " Alas ! Oger, 
what is become of thee ? This is, I ween, the most sud 
den departure that I heard of ever." " Nay, but cease, 
my beloved," said Gloriande ; " he will not fail to come 
again when God wills, for he cannot be far away." " Ah, 
lady," said Caraheu, "you know not the dangers of the 
sea ; and I pray God to take him into his keeping." . . . 
Now I will leave speaking of Caraheu, and return to 
Oger, who was in peril, yet was ever grieving for his 
friend, and saying, " Ah, Caraheu, hope of the remaining 
days of my life, thou whom I loved next to God ! How 
has God allowed me to lose so soon you and your lady ? " 
At that moment the great ship, in which Oger had left 
his men-at-arms, struck against a rock, and he saw them 
all perish, at which sight he was like to die of grief. And 
presently a loadstone rock began to draw towards it the 
boat in which Oger was. Oger, seeing himself thus taken, 
recommended his soul to God, saying, " My God, my 
Father and Creator, who hast made me in Thine image 
and semblance, have pity on me now, and leave me not 
here to die ; for that I have used my power as was best 
to the increase of the Catholic faith. But if it must be 
that Thou take me, I commit to Thy care my brother 
Guyou, and all my relatives and friends, especially my 
rephew Gautier, who is minded to serve Thee, and bring 
the paynim into Thy Holy Church. . . . Ah, my God ! 
had I known the peril of this adventure, I should never 
have abandoned the beauty, sense, and honor of Clarice, 
Queen of England. Had I but gone back to her, I should 
have seen, too, my redoubted sovereign, Charlemagne, 
witn all the princes who surround him." 


Meanwhile the boat continued to float upon the water 
till it reached the loadstone castle, which they call the 
Chateau d Avalon, which is but a little way from the 
earthly Paradise, whither were snatched in a beam of 
fire Elias and Enoch, and where was Morgue la Fe e, who 
at his birth had given him such great gifts. Then the 
manners saw well that they were drawing near to the 
loadstone rock, and they said to Oger, " My lord, com 
mend thyself to God, for it is certain that at this moment 
we are come to our voyage s end ; " and as they spake the 
bark with a swing attached itself to the rock, as though 
it were cemented there. 

That night Oger thought over the case in which he 
was, but he scarce could tell of what sort it might be. 
And the sailors came and said to Oger, " My lord, we are 
held here without remedy ; wherefore let us look to our 
stores, for we are here for the remainder of our lives." 
To which Oger made answer, " If this be so, then will I 
make consideration of our case, for I would assign to each 
one his share, to the least as to the greatest." For him 
self Oger kept a double portion, for it is the law of the 
sea that the master of the ship has as much as two others. 
But if that rule had not been, he would still have needed 
a double quantity, for he ate as much as two common 

When Oger had apportioned his share to each, he 
said, " Masters, be sparing, I pray you, of your food as 
much as you may, for so soon as ye have no more be sure 
that I myself will throw you into the sea." The skipper 
answered him, " My lord, thou wilt escape no better than 
we." Their food failed them all, one after another, and 
Oger cast them into the sea, and he remained alone. 
Then he was so troubled that he knew not what to do. 
" Alas ! my God, my Creator," said he, " hast Thou at this 
hour forsaken me ? I have now no one to comfort me in 
my misfortune." Thereupon, whether it were his fantasy 
or no, it seemed to him that a voice replied, " God orders 


that so soon as it be night thou go to a castle after thou 
hast come to an island which thou wilt presently find. 
And when thou art on the island thou wilt find a small 
path leading to the castle. And whatsoever thing thou 
seest there, let not that affray thee." And Oger looked, 
but wist not who had spoken. 

Oger waited the return of night, to learn the truth of 
that which the voice foretold, and he was so amazed that 
he wist not what to do, but set himself to the trial. And 
when night came he committed himself to God, praying 
Him for mercy ; and straightway he looked and beheld the 
Castle of Avalon, which shone wondrously. Many nights 
before he had seen it, but by day it was not visible. 
Howbeit, so soon as Oger saw the castle he set about to 
get there. He saw before him the ships that were fastened 
to the loadstone rock, and now he walked from ship to 
ship, and so gained the island; and when there he at once 
set himself to scale the hill by a path which he found. 
When he reached the gate of the castle, and sought to 
enter, there came before him two great lions, who stopped 
him and cast him to the ground. But Oger sprang up 
and drew his sword, Curtain, and straightway cleft one of 
them in twain ; then the other sprang and seized Oger 
by the neck, and Oger turned round and struck off his 

When Oger had performed this deed, he gave thanks 
to our Lord, and then he entered the hall of the castle, 
where he found many viands, and a table set as if one 
should dine there ; but no prince nor lord could he see. 
Now he was amazed to find no one, save only a horse, 
which sat at the table as if it had been a human being. 
This horse, which was called Papillon (Psyche ?), waited 
upon Oger, gave him to drink from a golden goblet, and 
at length conducted him to his chamber, and to a bed 
whose fairy-made coverlet of cloth of gold and ermine 
was la plus mignonne chose quifut jamais vue. 

When Oger awoke he thought to see Papillon again, 


but could see neither him, nor man, nor woman, to show 
him the way from the room. He saw a door, and, having 
made the sign of the cross, sought to pass out that way ; 
but as he tried to do this he encountered a serpent, so 
hideous that the like has scarce been seen. It would 
have thrown itself upon Oger, but that the knight drew 
his sword and made the creature recoil more than ten 
feet ; but it returned with a bound, for it was very mighty, 
and the twain fell to fight. And now, as Oger saw that 
the serpent pressed hard upon him, he struck at it so 
doughtily with his sword that he severed it in twain. 
After that Oger went along a path which led him to a 
garden, so beauteous that it was in truth a little paradise ; 
and within were fair trees, bearing fruit of every kind, of 
tastes divers, and of such sweet odors that he never smelt 
trees like them before. 

Oger, seeing these fruits so fine, desired to eat some, 
and presently he lighted upon a fine apple-tree, whose 
fruit was like gold, and of these apples he took one and 
ate. But no sooner had he thus eaten than he became 
so sick and weak that he had no power nor manhood 
left. And now again he commended his soul to God and 
prepared to die. . . . But -at this moment turning round, 
he was aware of a fair dame, clothed in white, and so 
richly adorned that she was a glory to behold. Now as 
Oger looked upon the lady without moving from his 
place, he deemed that she was Mary the Virgin, and said, 
" Ave Maria," and saluted her. But she said, " Oger, 
think not that I am she whom you fancy ; I am she who 
was at your birth, and my name is Morgue la Fee, and I 
allotted you a gift which was destined to increase your 
fame eternally through all lands. But now you have left 
your deeds of war to take with ladies your solace ; for 
as soon as I have taken you from here I will bring you 
to Avalon, where you will see the fairest noblesse in the 

And anon she gave him a ring, which had such virtue 


that Oger, who was near a hundred years old, returned 
to the age of thirty. Then said Oger, " Lady, I am more 
beholden to thee than to any other in the world. Blessed 
be the hour of thy birth, for, without having done aught 
to deserve at your hands, you have given me countless 
gifts, and this gift of new life above them all. Ah, lady, 
that I were before Charlemagne, that he might see the 
condition in which I now stand ; for I feel in me greater 
strength than I have ever known. Dearest, how can I 
make return for the honor and great good you have done 
me ? But I swear that I am at your service all the days 
of my life." Then Morgue took him by the hand, and 
said, " My loyal friend, the goal of all my happiness, I 
will now lead you to my palace in Avalon, where you will 
see of noblesse the greatest and of damosels the fairest." 
And she took Oger by the hand and led him to the Cas 
tle of Avalon, where was King Artus, and Auberon, and 
Malambron, who was a sea fairy. 

As Oger approached the castle the fairies came to 
meet him, dancing and singing marvellous sweetly. And 
he saw many fairy dames, richly crowned and apparelled. 
And presently came Arthur, and Morgue called to him, 
and said, " Come hither, my lord and brother, and salute 
the fair flower of chivalry, the honor of the French no 
blesse, him in whom all generosity and honor and every 
virtue are lodged, Oger le Danois, my loyal love, my 
only pleasure, in whom lies for me all hope of happiness." 
Then Morgue gave Oger a crown to wear, which was so 
rich that none here could count its value ; and it had be 
side a wondrous virtue, for every man who bore it on 
his brow forgot all sorrow and sadness and melancholy, 
and he thought no more of his country nor of his kin that 
he had left behind him in the world. 

We leave Oger thus " bien assis et entretenu des dames 
que fetait merveilles" and return to the earth, where 
things were not going so well ; for while Oger was in 
Fairie the paynim assembled all their forces and took 


Jerusalem and proceeded to lay siege to Babylon (that is, 
Cairo). Then the most valiant knights who were left on 
earth Moysant, and Florian, and Caraheu, and Gautier 
(Oger s nephew) assembled all their powers to defend 
this place. But they lamented greatly because Oger was 
no more. And a great battle took place without the 
walls of Babylon, in which the Saracens, assisted by a 
renegade, the Admiral Gandice, gained the victory. 

Oger had been long in the Castle of Avalon, and had 
begotten a son by Morgue, when she, having heard of 
these doings and of the danger to Christendom, deemed 
it needful to awake Oger from his blissful forgetfulness 
of all earthly things, and tell him that his presence was 
needed in this world once more. Thereupon follows an 
account of Oger s returning to earth, where no one knew 
him, and all were astonished at his strange garb and 
bearing. He inquired for Charlemagne, who had been 
long since dead ; the generation below Oger had grown 
to be old men, yet he still had the habit of a man of 
thirty. We need not wonder that his talk excited suspi 
cion. But at length he made himself known to the King 
of France, joined his army, and put the paynim to flight. 
He had now forgotten his life in Fairie ; he was beloved 
by the Queen of France (the King having been killed), 
and was about to marry her, when Morgue again ap 
peared and carried him off to Avalon. 1 

Looking back over this long story to see just 
where it locates its Paradise, and how one could get 
there, we find the data extremely few and discourag 
ing. And the older story in Plutarch respecting 

1 From Keary s Outlines of Primitive Beliefs, pp. 452-458. He re 
marks, "The account which I here translate is only a sixteenth-cen 
tury version of the tale, but it is copied directly from the poetic ver 
sion of the well-known troubadour Adenez, chief minstrel at the 
court of Henry III. of Bavaria (1248-1261), and for his excellence in 
his art called Le Roy, or king of all. There can be no doubt that in 
its chief particulars the story is far older than the days of Adenez." 


the same isle of blessedness is not less destitute of 
indications as to exact locality. 1 

Going some centuries farther back we find an 
other traveler who claims to have been in the ter 
restrial Paradise. He says, 

As I looked towards the North, over the mountains, I 
saw seven mountains full of precious balsam and odorous 
trees and cinnamon and pepper. And from thence I 
went over the summits of these mountains far towards the 
East, and passed on still farther over the sea and came 
far beyond it. And I came into the Garden of Right 
eousness, and saw a many-colored crowd of trees of every 
kind ; for many and great trees flourish there, very noble 
and lovely, and the Tree of Wisdom, which gives wisdom 
to any one who eats of it. It is like the Johannis bread 
tree ; its fruit is like a cluster of grapes, very good ; and 
the fragrance of the tree spreads far around. And I said, 
" Fair is this tree, and how beautiful and ravishing its 
look ! " And the holy Angel Raphael, who was with me, 
answered and said to me, " This is the Tree of Wisdom of 
which thy forefathers, thy hoary first parent and thy aged 
first mother, ate, and found the knowledge of wisdom, 
and their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were 
naked, and were driven out of the garden." 

This favored explorer, who had the special advan 
tage of being guided by a holy angel, was the un 
known author of the Book of Enoch, which writing 
is believed by some to be as old as the second cen 
tury before Christ. No one can read many chapters 
of his production, however, without arriving at the 
firm conclusion that sacred geography has very lit 
tle to hope from such a source, however ancient. 2 

1 " On the Face appearing in the Orb of the Moon," Sect. 26, 
Plutarch s Morals. Goodwin s ed., vol. v., p. 201. 
3 Das Buck Henoch. Uebersetzt von Dr. A. Dillmann. Leipsic, 


Coming down to the travelers of our own time, 
we fare no better, even though they do not tax our 
credulity with stories of angelic guides or of guard 
ian dragons. One, writing only ten years ago, pro 
fessedly from the very Garden itself, momentarily 
raises our expectations when he says, " Discoveries 
made within the last decade tend to confirm the sup 
position that the primeval abode of man was near 
the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris ; 
and it is not too much to anticipate the exhuming of 
inscribed tablets which will fully establish this be 
lief." But as suddenly as our hopes are excited, so 
suddenly do they die away in disappointment. In 
credulous critics greet the suggestion of "exhuming 
inscribed tablets" on the subject with a chorus of 
derisive laughter. The author himself does not ven 
ture to give any of the " discoveries made within the 
last decade " which tend to confirm the notion that 
Eden was located at the point described. On the 
contrary, in the immediately following sentence, he 
takes leave of the subject, and in so doing gives us 
over to his own admitted uncertainty in the follow 
ing terms : " And although, after the lapse of so 
many centuries, exact correspondence of topography 
is not to be expected, yet guided by the general fea 
tures of the scene rather than by the minuter ones, 
the present traditional Garden of Eden may be ac 
cepted until another has been discovered and its 
identity more clearly proved." l In such darkness 
dies out the kindled hope. Meantime, in a letter to 
Sir Roderick Murchison, published in " The Athe- 

1853. There is an earlier English translation by R. Lawrence (Ox 
ford, 1821, 33, 38). 

1 J. P. Newman, D. D., A Thousand Miles on Horseback. New 
York, 1875 : p. 69. 


naeum " not far from the same date, the indefatiga 
ble Livingstone disclosed the secret of his tireless 
perambulations through Central Africa, he be 
lieved that at the sources of the Nile, could he once 
discover them, he would stand upon the site of the 
primeval Paradise ! Evidently exploration, wonder 
ful as have been its achievements, has not yet solved 
the problem of the site of Eden. To this day the 
word of Pindar, uttered half a thousand years before 
Christ, has remained true : 

" Neither by taking ship, 
Neither by any travel on foot, 
To the Hyperborean Field 
Shalt thou find the wondrous way." 



Some have placed it in the third heaven, some in the fourth, in the heaven of 
the moon, in the moon itself, on a -mountain near the lunar heaven, in the middle 
region of the air, out of the earth, upon the earth, beneath the earth, in a place 
that is hidden and separated from man. It has been placed under the northern 
pole, in Tartary, or in the place now occupied by the Caspian Sea. Others placed 
it in the extreme south, in the land of fire ; others in the Levant, or on the 
shores of the Ganges, or in the island of Ceylon. It has been placed in China, or 
in an inaccessible region bey and the Black Sea; by others in America, in Africa, 

A n ein Resultat, das auch nur einigermassen befriedigte, ist nicht zu denken. 
WETZER UNO WELTE, Kirchen-Lexicon. 

THEOLOGIANS, Christian and Jewish, have in all 
ages differed, and irreconcilably differed, as to the 
location of the cradle of the human race. The evi 
dences of this are so well known, or so easily acces 
sible to every intelligent reader, that they need not 
be adduced in this place. 1 

The fathers and theologians of the Early Church 
and of the Middle Ages held many curious and con 
flicting opinions upon the subject. Some, following 
the allegorizing method of Philo, interpreted the 
whole narrative in Genesis as a parable setting forth 
spiritual things. Eden was not a place, but a state 
of spiritual blessedness. The four rivers were not 
rivers, but the four cardinal virtues, etc. The 
majority, however, held to the historic character of 
the narrative, and to the strictly geographical reality 

1 See McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, 
and Ecclesiastical Literature, Arts. " Eden " and " Paradise." 


of Eden. To the question of its location, number 
less were the answers. Often it was in the far East, 
beyond all lands inhabited by men. Sometimes it 
was thought of as perhaps within, or under, the 
earth, in the regions of the dead. Sometimes it was 
neither on nor below the earth, but high above it, in 
the third heaven, or some way associated with the 
lunar orbit. Again, it would be stated that there 
are two paradises, a celestial and a terrestrial one, 
the one in heaven, the other on the earth. Ter- 
tullian, conceiving of the torrid zone as the flaming 
sword, which turned every way to keep the way of 
the tree of life (Gen. iii. 24), placed Eden beyond 
it, in the southern hemisphere. Now it was at the 
bottom of the sea ; l or again it held a position mid 
way between earth and heaven. Anon, it was on 
the summit of a miraculous mountain, which rose to 
the height of the moon. Of this mountain only the 
base was washed, when by the waters of the Deluge 
all other mountains were covered. It was conceived 
of as rising in three gigantic stages to its stupen 
dous height. All kinds of marvelous plants and 
precious metals and gems adorned it, but its su 
preme adornment was a divine river, which, starting 
from the throne of God in the highest heaven, 
descended to the holy garden on the mountain s 
head, and thence parting into four, after watering 
and beautifying the whole mountain in its descent, 
gradually lost more and more of its celestial taste 
and vivifying virtues, and became the water system 
of the habitable globe. Sometimes the location of 

1 "In some legends Eden was submerged by the earliest deluge 
that covered the Mount. The happy garden was believed to be lying 
at the bottom of Lake Van, in Armenia." Gerald Massey, The Nat* 
ural Genesis, vol. ii., p. 231. 


this mountain was described as in some distant por 
tion of the earth, " where the sea, or earth, and the 
sky meet." 

Impatient of such contradictions, Luther, in his 
own brusque way, rejected all attempts to locate the 
primeval garden, declaring that the Deluge had so 
changed the face of the earth and the course of its 
original rivers that all search was fruitless. 

Calvin, on the contrary, confidently affirmed that 
the writer of the Genesis narrative must be under 
stood as locating the Garden of Eden near the 
mouths of the Euphrates. Soon this original diver 
sity of Protestant teaching upon the subject became 
aggravated by new theories, some of them suggested 
by orthodox ingenuity, some introduced by rational 
istic conceptions of the semi-mythical character of 
the Bible, until at the present time the state of the 
ological teaching respecting Eden is, if possible, a 
worse Babel than in any preceding age. 

For a partial illustration of the confusion one has 
only to turn to the most recent and authoritative 
biblical, theological, and religious encyclopaedias. 
In McClintock and Strong s, the writer on Eden in 
clines to locate it in Armenia. In Smith s " Bible 
Dictionary" the problem is abandoned as probably 
insoluble. In the great German encyclopaedia of 
Herzog it is declared necessary to deny to the story 
of Eden a strictly historical character ; it is " a bit of 
mythical geography." In the supplement, however, 
Pressel makes an elaborate argument of many pages 
in favor of the location at the junction of the Tigris 
and Euphrates. Dillmann, in Schenkel s " Bibel- 
Lexicon," places it in the Himalayas, north of India. 
In the chief Roman Catholic cyclopaedia, Wetzel 


and Welte s " Kirchen - Lexicon," the writer vacil 
lates between Eastern Asia, taken in a vague and 
undefined sense, and an equally undefined North. 
In Lichtenberg s just completed " Encyclopedic des 
Sciences Religieuses " the whole story in Genesis ii. 
is declared a "philosophic myth." Professor Brown, 
of New York, in the new work edited by Dr. Schaff, 
on the basis of Herzog, enumerates a variety of 
opinions advocated by others, but refrains from ex 
pressing any opinion of his own. Such is all the 
light which contemporary theology seems able to 
throw upon our problem. 

But here some plain reader of the Bible opens at 
the second chapter of Genesis, and reads, "And 
the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; 
and there he put the man whom he had formed." 
And the plain reader asks how a believer in the 
Bible can doubt that this passage fixes the location 
of the garden somewhere to the East of Palestine. 
But, looking a little more critically, our inquirer 
himself quickly sees that the verse does not neces 
sarily affirm anything as to the direction of the gar 
den from the writer. It may naturally mean that the 
garden was planted in the eastern part of the land 
of Eden, wherever that was ; and turning to the 
most careful and orthodox commentators, he finds 
that not a few take this view of it. Moreover, Miq- 
qedem y here translated " eastward," may be other 
wise translated, as it is in King James s Version, in 
the passages Ps. Ixxiv. 12, Ixxvii. 6, and elsewhere. 
In fact, in the Vulgate it is here translated, a prin- 
cipio, " in or from the beginning." Among the 
early Greek translators, Symmachus, Theodotion, 
and Aquila understand the term in the same way, 


Hence, nearly two hundred years ago, the learned 
Thomas Burnet wrote as follows: "Some have 
thought that the word Miqqedem, Gen. ii. 8, was to 
be rendered in the East, or Eastward, as we read it, 
and therefore determined the site of Paradise ; but 
t is only the Septuagint translate it so ; all the 
other Greek versions, and St. Jerome, the Vulgate, 
the Chaldee Paraphrase, and the Syriak, render it 
from the beginning, or in the beginning, or to that 
effect. And we that do not believe the Septuagint 
to have been infallible or inspired have no reason to 
prefer their single authority above all the rest." 1 

The same writer says again, " We may safely say 
that none of the Christian Fathers, Latin or Greek, 
ever placed Paradise in Mesopotamia ; that is a con 
ceit and innovation of some modern authors, which 
hath been much encouraged of late, because it gave 
more ease and rest as to further inquiries in an 
argument they could not well manage." 2 

As to the new source of evidence opened up by 
the decipherment of the Cuneiform inscriptions, Le- 
normant says, that in none of these, so far as yet 
deciphered, has anything been found indicating that 
the Chaldaeo-Babylonians believed that their coun 
try was the cradle of the human race. 3 

" But the four rivers," says our inquirer, and 
he reads verses 10-14: "And a river went out of 
Eden to water the garden ; and from thence it was 
parted and became into four heads. The name of 
the first is Pison. . . . And the name of the second 
river is Gihon. . . . And the name of the third river 

1 Sacred Theory of the Earth. London, 2d ed., 1691 : p. 252. 

2 Ibid., p. 253. 

8 Les Origines de FHistoire. Paris, 1882 : torn. ii. I, p. 120. 


is Hiddekel, . . . and the fourth river is Euphrates." 
" Surely here in the fourth river we have one unde 
niable landmark. However impossible it may be 
satisfactorily to identify all four of the primitive riv 
ers of Eden, the mention of the Euphrates at least 
restricts the location of the garden to some part of 
the region drained by that river." 

Consulting the theologians, however, our inves 
tigator finds a great variety of serious objections 
urged against this short and easy method of settling 
the controversy. 

First, he is told that some Biblical critics have 
expressed doubt as to the genuineness of the verses, 
and that as earnest a defender of the Bible as Mr. 
Granville Penn considered the whole passage an in 

Secondly, he learns that Perath or Phrath, the 
Hebrew name of the river, is from the older form 
Buratti or Purattu, a word believed to signify " the 
broad," or " the deep." 1 Of course such a descrip 
tive term may well have been the name of more 
than one ancient river, just as "Broad Brook" is the 
name of many an American stream. Indeed, in his 
learned work, " Le Berceau de 1 Espece Humaine," 
Obry shows that in ancient times Phrat, or Euphra 
tes, was the name of one, or possibly two, of the 
rivers of Persia. 2 One of these in Pliny s time still 
bore the name in the hardly changed form Ophradus. 
Lenormant says he does not hesitate to consider the 
Phrath of the Khorda-Avesta identical with the Per- 

1 Delitzsch, Wo lag das Paradies? p. 169. Grill, Die Erzvater der 
Menschheit, Bd. i., p. 230. In Old Persian it is Ufratu, " the fair 
flowing." F. Finzi, Antickita Assira, Turin, 1872: p. 112. 

2 See pp. 95, 136, 140. 


sian river Helmend. 1 Africa also had its sacred 
Euphrates. 2 If therefore the passage in Genesis is 
genuine, and Moses wrote of the Phrath, it is not 
absolutely certain what " broad " or " abounding " 
river he had in mind. Moreover, in any case, the 
Euphrates of Mesopotamia is not one of four equal 
offshoots into which the one " river " proceeding 
" out of Eden " divided itself according to the state 
ment of the text. Its source is not from another 
river at all, but from ordinary mountain springs. 

Thirdly, it must not be forgotten, our friend is 
told, that all peoples coming into a new country love 
to name their new rivers and towns after the loved 
and sacred ones they have left in the elder home. 
The Thames of New England perpetuates the mem 
ory of the Thames of Old England. " It is very 
seldom indeed," says a late writer, " that a river has 
no namesakes." 3 Very possibly, therefore, the 
Phrath of Mesopotamia may have been named for 
some elder river of the antediluvian world, wher 
ever that may have been. That it was so is the firm 
belief of various learned writers. 4 

Fourthly, continue the theologians, the language 
of Ezekiel xxviii. 13-19, and of Proverbs iii. 18; xi. 
30, etc., shows that poetic and symbolical applica 
tions of the name and images of Eden were common. 

1 Origines de VHistoire, torn. ii. I, p. 99. 

2 " Also there is a very sacred river in Hwida called the Euphrates 
or Eufrates." Gerald Massey, The Natural Genesis. London, 1883 : 
vol. ii., p. 165. 

8 " There is no improbability in supposing that there may have been 
in Britain two rivers named Trisanton. On the contrary, it is very 
seldom indeed that a river has no namesakes," Henry Bradley, in 
The Academy, April 28, 1883, P- 2 9^- 

* See Grill, Die Erzvdter der Menschheit, Bd. i., pp. 239, 242. 


And if the Hebrews named one of the water-courses 
at Jerusalem Gihon, in commemoration of one of the 
four Paradise rivers, 1 it is not irrational to suppose 
that the inhabitants of Mesopotamia may have called 
their chief stream in honor of another of the four. 
Lenormant, Grill, Obry, and others support this view. 
They might have rendered the probability still 
stronger by calling attention to the fact that the 
oldest name of Babylon, Tin-tir-ki, was of the same 
commemorative or symbolical character, and signi 
fied " the place of the Tree of Life." 2 

Finally, pursuing these curious investigations fur 
ther, our plain reader finds mention in Pausanias, ii. 
5, of a strange belief of the ancients, according to 
which the Euphrates, after disappearing in a marsh 
and flowing a long distance underground, rises again 
beyond Ethiopia, and flows through Egypt as the 
Nile. This reminds him of the language of Josephus, 
according to which the Ganges, the Tigris, the Eu 
phrates, and the Nile are all but parts of "one river 
which ran round about the whole earth," the Oke- 
anos-river of the Greeks. 3 And he wonders whether 
the old Shemitic term from which the modern Eu 
phrates is derived was not originally a name of the 
general water system of the world, a name of that 
Ocean-river which Aristotle describes as rising in 
the upper heavens, descending in rain upon the 
earth, feeding, as Homer tells us, all fountains and 
rivers and every sea, flowing through all these water- 

1 Ewald, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 2d ed., Bd. Hi., pp. 3 2I -3 28 - 

2 Lenormant, Origines de VHistoire, vol. i., p. 76. English version, 
p. 85. See also Rev. O. D. Miller, " The Symbolical Geography of 
the Ancients," in the American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, 
Chicago, July, 1881. 

3 Compare Rev. ix. 14. 


courses down into the great and "broad" equatorial 
ocean-current which girdles the world in its embrace, 
thence branching out from the further shore into 
the rivers of the Underworld, to be at last fire-purged 
and sublimated, and returned in purity to the upper 
heavens to recommence its round. 1 And just as he 
is wondering over the question, he finds that some 
of the Assyriologists, in their investigation of pre- 
Babylonian Akkadian mythology, have found reason 
to believe this surmise correct, and to say that in 
that mythology the term Euphrates was applied to 
" the rope of the world," " the encircling river of the 
snake god of the tree of life," "the heavenly river 
which surrounds the earth." 2 Furthermore, as he 
turns back to the pages of Hyginus, and Manilius, 
and Lucius Ampelius, and reads of the fall of the 
"world-egg" at the beginning "into the river Eu 
phrates," he perceives that he is in a mythologic, 
and not a historic region. 3 And when he lights 
upon a mutilated fragment of an ancient Assyrian 
inscription, in which descriptions of the visible and 
invisible world are mixed up together, and in which 
the river "of the life of the world " is designated by 
the name " Euphrates," 4 he quickly concludes that 
it will not do to take the term Phrath, or Eu-frata, 
as always and everywhere referring to the historic 
river of Mesopotamia. 

1 See below Part V., chapter 5 : " The Quadrifurcate River." 

2 The Rev. A. H. Sayce in The Academy. London, Oct. 7, 1882 : 
p. 263. " Professor Sayce, after recently observing that in early 
Akkadian mythology the mouth of the Euphrates was identified with 
the River of Death, adds, The Okeanos of Homer had, I believe, 
its origin in this Akkadian river which coiled itself around the 
world. " Robert Brown, Jun., F. R. S., The Myth of KirkL London. 
1883 : p. 33. 

8 Bryant, Analysis of Ancient Myths, vol. Hi., pp. 160-162. 
* Records of the Past, x., p. 149. 


Hitherto, then, the "results" of the theologians 
as to the location of Eden are purely negative and 
mutually destructive. " It would be difficult," says 
one of their number, "to find any subject in the 
whole history of opinion which has so invited and at 
the same time so completely baffled conjecture as 
this. Theory after theory has been advanced, but 
none has been found which satisfies the required 
conditions. The site of Eden will ever rank, with 
the quadrature of the circle and the interpretation 
of unfulfilled prophecy, among those unsolved and 
perhaps insoluble problems which possess so strange 
a fascination." l 

1 William A. Wright, of Trinity College, Cambridge, in Smith s 
Dictionary of the Bible, Art. " Eden," 



// is useless to speculate on thit subject. CHARLES DARWIN. 

THE location of the cradle of the human race is as 
much a problem for the ethnologist and anthropolo 
gist as it is for the theologian. The archaeologist, 
the zoologist, and even the biologist, if at all broad 
and philosophical in their inquiries, cannot ignore 
the high interest of the questions, Was there for 
the human race one primitive centre of distribution ? 
and, if so, Where was it located ? 

Thirty years ago the pretentious American work 
by Nott and Gliddon, entitled " The Types of Man 
kind," 1 a work written in opposition to the doc 
trine of the unity of the human race, attracted 
unusual attention to the former of these questions. 
The teaching therein put forth was that there are 
very many types or varieties of men without genea 
logical connection with each other, and that there 
fore a great number of primitive centres of distribu 
tion must be assumed. The avowed prejudices of 
the projectors of the work against certain races, par 
ticularly the African, would have rendered the in 
fluence of the work upon the scientific world ex 
tremely slight, had not contributions of some value 
from Dr. S. G. Morton, and Professor Louis Agassiz 

1 Philadelphia and London, 1854. 


been incorporated with it. As it was, it gave Eu 
ropean ethnologists occasion to form and express 
very uncomplimentary conceptions of American rep 
resentatives of ethnological research. 1 Fortunate 
ly these crude beginners of the science have had 
no influential successors of their own sort in this 
country, and but obscure or half-hearted disciples 
in any other. 2 The polygeny of the race has at 
present no respectable support. Even the author of 
the latest and perhaps ablest of the works on the 
Preadamite Hypothesis remarks, " The plural origin 
of mankind is a doctrine now almost entirely super 
seded. All schools admit the probable descent of 
all races from a common stock." 3 To the second 
question, therefore, the attention of the scientific 
and archaeological world is steadily gravitating. 
Given one primeval point of departure for the race, 
where shall that point of departure be sought ? 

The answers which recent biologists, naturalists, 
and ethnologists have given to this problem are 
hardly less numerous or less conflicting than are 
the solutions proposed by theologians. Of these 

1 Such references as the following are not uncommon : " Uner- 
lasslich bleibt die Behauptung eines einzigen Ausgangsortes s ammt- 
licher Menschenrassen, im Gegensatze zur Anthropologenschule unter 
den Amerikanern, die vielleicht urn ihr Gewissen iiber die vormalige 
Negersklaverei und den Rassenmord der Indianer zu beruhigen, in 
neuster Zeit iiber hundert Menschenarten, nicht Menschenrassen, 
iiberhaupt so viele geschaffen hat als Volkertypen sich aufstellen lassen" 
etc. O. Peschel, in Ausland, 1869, p. mo. Cited in Caspari, Die 
Urgeschichte der Menschheit. 2d ed., Leipsic, 1877, vol. i., p. 241. 

2 See Simonin, L Homme Americain. Paris, 1870: p. 12. A. Re- 
ville, Les Religions des Peuples non-civilises . Paris, 1883 : vol. i., p. 196. 

3 Alexander Winchell, Preadamites ; or a Demonstration of the 
Existence of Men before Adam. Chicago, 1880 : p. 297. One of the 
latest and most authoritative criticisms and refutations of Agassiz s 
polygenism is found in Quatrefages, The Human Race. N. Y., 1879 : 
chap. xiv. 


answers Professor Zoeckler, in a late work, enumer 
ates ten, each having the support of eminent scien 
tific names. 1 In latitude they range from Green 
land to Central Africa, and in longitude from Amer 
ica to Central Asia. Of the whole number, the two 
which seem to command the widest and weight 
iest support are, first, the hypothesis that " Lemu- 
ria " a wholly imaginary, now submerged prehis 
toric continent under the northern portion of the 
Indian Ocean was the " mother-region " of the 
race ; and, secondly, that it was in the heart of Cen 
tral Asia. 

The former of these sites is the one supported 
by Haeckel, Caspari, Peschel, and many others. 2 
Though less positive, Darwin and Lyell seem favor 
able to the same location or to one in the adjoining 
portion of Africa. Most of the recent maps of the 
progressive dispersion of the race over the globe 
have been constructed in accordance with this the 
ory. 3 Perhaps the best popular summary of the 
arguments in its favor is that found in Oscar 
Peschel s " Races of Men." 4 

But while biological speculation, especially in the 
hands of Darwinists, has strongly inclined toward 
the chief habitat of the ape tribes in its attempts 
to find man s primitive point of departure, compar 
ative philologists, mythologists, and archaeological 

1 The Cross of Christ. Translated by Evans. London, 1877. Ap 
pendix iii., p. 389. 

2 Ernst Haeckel, The Pedigree of Man, and other Essays. London, 
1883 : PP- 73-8o. Otto Kuntze, Phytogeogenesis. Leipsic, 1884 : p. 
52, note. 

3 See Caspari s in Die Urgeschichte der Menschheit, at the close of 
vol. i. ; Kracher s Ethnographische Weltkarte in Novara Expedition, 
Vienna, 1875 Winchell s in his Preadamites, p. I. 

4 New York, Appletons, pp. 26-34. 


ethnographers have of late very strongly tended 
to place the cradle of mankind on the lofty plateau 
of Pamir in Central Asia. For these the eminent 
French anthropologist, Quatrefages, is well entitled 
to speak. 

We know [says this savant] that in Asia there is a 
vast region bounded on the south and south-west by the 
Himalayas, on the west by the Bolor mountains, on the 
north-west by the Alla-Tau, on the north by the Altai 
range and its off-shoots, on the east by the Kingkhan, on 
the south and south-east by the Felina and Kwen-lun. 
Judging of it by what exists at the present day, this great 
central region might be regarded as having included the 
cradle of the human race. 

In fact, the three fundamental types of all the races 
of mankind are represented in the populations grouped 
around this region. The negro races are the furthest re 
moved from it, but have nevertheless marine stations, 
in which they are found pure or mixed, from the Kiussiu 
to the Andaman Islands. On the continent they have 
mingled their blood with nearly all the inferior castes and 
classes of the two Gangetic peninsulas ; they are still 
found pure in each of them ; they ascend as far as Nepal, 
and, according to Elphinstone, spread to the west as far 
as the Persian Gulf and Lake Zareh. The yellow race, 
pure, or mixed here and there with white elements, seems 
alone to occupy the area in question. The circumference 
of this region is peopled by it to the north, the east, the 
south-east, and the west. In the south it is more mixed, 
but it none the less forms an important element of the 
population. The white race, by its allophylian repre 
sentatives, seems to have disputed the possession of even 
the central area itself with the yellow race. In early 
times we find the Yu-Tchi, the U-Suns, to the north of 
Hoang-Ho ; and at the present day in Little Thibet, in 
Eastern Thibet, small islands of white populations have 


been pointed out. The Miao-Tse occupy the mountain 
ous regions of China ; the Siaputhes are proof against 
all attacks in the gorges of Bolor. On the confines of 
this area we find to the east the Ainos and the Japanese 
of high caste, the Tinguians of the Philippine Islands ; 
to the south the Hindus. To the south-west and west, 
the white element, pure or mixed, is completely predomi 
nant. No other region on the face of the globe presents 
similar reunion of the extreme types of the human race 
distributed around a common centre. This fact of itself 
might suggest to the naturalist the conjecture which I 
have expressed above ; but we may appeal to other con 

One of the weightiest of these is drawn from philol 
ogy. The three fundamental forms of human language 
are found in the same regions and in analogous connec 
tions. In the centre and the south-east of our area the 
monosyllabic languages are represented by the Chinese, 
the Annamite, the Siamese, and the Thibetan. As agglu 
tinative languages, we find, from the north-east to the 
north-west, the group of the Ugro-Japanese ; in the south 
that of the Dravidians and the Malays ; and in the west 
the Turkish languages. Lastly, Sanscrit with its deriva 
tives, and the Iranian languages, represent, in the south 
and south-west, the inflectional languages. With the lin 
guistic types accumulated around this central region of 
Asia all human languages are connected, either by their 
vocabulary or their grammar. Some of these Asiatic lan 
guages resemble very closely languages spoken in regions 
far removed, or separated from the area in question by 
very different languages. 

Lastly, it is from Asia, again, that our earliest-tamed 
domestic animals have come. Isidore Geoffrey- Saint- 
Hilaire is entirely agreed on this point with Bureau de 
la Malle. 

Thus, taking into account only the present epoch, 


everything leads us back to this central plateau, or rather 
this vast inclosure. Here, we are inclined to say to our 
selves, the first human beings appeared, and multiplied 
down to the moment when the populations overflowed 
like a bowl which is too full, and poured themselves out 
in human waves in all directions. 1 

This view of the location of the first centre of the 
race is very widely accepted. It has the support of 
many great names. To its establishment contribu 
tions have been made by scholars in a great variety 
of fields. Among them may be mentioned Lassen, 
Burnouf, Ewald, Renan, Obry, D Eckstein, Hofer, 
Senart, Maspero, Lenormant, etc. Perhaps the most 
important single treatise representing the view is 
Obry s "Cradle of the Human Species," a work 
of singular interest to every scholar. 2 

But the latest writers on the question are by no 
means confined to the two locations just mentioned. 
The difficulty of accounting for the first advent of 
human beings in America, without supposing in 
early times a closer land-connection between the 
eastern and western hemispheres in the intertrop- 
ical regions than now exists, has led not a few eth 
nologists to postulate a lost Atlantis, including per 
haps the Canary and Madeira Islands, or the Azores, 

1 The Human Species, pp. 175-177. Quatrefages noteworthy 
suggestion as to the possibility of a modification of the above con 
clusion in consequence of the revelations of recent paleontological 
researches will be noticed in Part III., chapter 7. 

2 Le Berceau de PEspece Humaine selon les Indiens, les Perses et 
les Hebreux. Amiens, 1858. See also Lenormant, Origines de rHis- 
toire. Paris, 1882 : torn. ii. I, pp. 41, 144, 145. (Translated in part 
in The Contemporary Review, Sept. 1881.) Fragments cosmogoniques 
de Berose, pp. 300-333. Renan, Histoire generale des Langues Semi- 
tiques, pp. 475-484. Wilford, Asiatic Researches, vol. vi., pp. 455-536, 
and the following volumes. 


or located to the North or South of them, and to 
place in it the fountain head of the streams of popu 
lation which colonized both the Old and the New 
World. 1 

Another location lately advanced with great con 
fidence and supported with remarkable acuteness 
and learning is that advocated by Dr. Friedrich 
Delitzsch in his valuable work entitled " Wo lag 
das Paradies ? " 2 This site is on the Euphrates be 
tween Bagdad and Babylon. 3 In the author s con 
struction the "four rivers" are the great canal west 
of the Euphrates, called by the Greeks the Pallaco- 

1 Unger, Die versunkene Insel Atlantis. Vienna, 1860. An Amer 
ican work in advocacy of this theory is Ignatius Donnelly s Atlan 
tis : The Antediluvian World. New York, 1882. In Europe the 
hypothesis has been represented as largely abandoned. See Engler, 
Die Entwickelungsgeschichte der Pflanzenwelt. Leipsic, 1879 v i 
i., p. 82. But a new modification has since appeared in the work of 
M. Berlioux of Lyons : Les Atlantes. Histoire de ? Atlantis et de 
V Atlas primitif y ou Introduction a Fhistoire de C Europe. Paris, 1883. 

2 Wo lag das Paradies ? Eine biblisch-assyriologische Studie. Mil 
zahlreichen assyriologischen Beitrdgen zur biblischen Lander- nnd Vol- 
kerlmnde und einer Karte Babylo niens. Von Dr. Friedrich Delitzsch, 
Professor der Assyriologie an der Universitat Leipzig. Leipsic, 
1881. The author is a son of the well-known Biblical scholar Pro 
fessor Franz Delitzsch, and is himself eminent as an Assyriologist. 

8 Compare the language of his fellow-student in Assyriology, Pro 
fessor Felice Finzi : " Mentre a cercare la culla degli Ariani dobbi- 
amo volgerci ad Oriente, agli Uttara-Kuru degli Indiani, al mitico 
paradiso degli nomini del monte Meru, all Airyanem Vaedjo degli 
Irani, al regno di Udyana presso al Caschmir ; mentre in qualche 
gruppo del sistema uralo-altaico dee forse indicarsi il centre di forma- 
zione della famiglia turanica, e la orografia del Caucaso potra forse 
sola determinare il sito piu opportuno per lo sviluppo delle tribii che 
se ne attestano autottone ; i Semiti ci si mostrano figli di quella terra 
ove si sono svolte le pagine piu belle della loro storia. E la forse in 
un angolo di questo paese ricco un tempo dello splendore di una na 
tura lussureggiante che la tribii semita si formo." Ricerche per lo 
Studio deir Antichita Assira. Torino, 1872 : p. 433. 


pas, the Shat-en-Nil, and the lower Tigris and Eu 
phrates. But despite the conceded ability of the 
plea, there seems at present little prospect that it 
will secure acceptance among scholars. The distin 
guished Theodor Noeldeke, in a recent review, while 
cordially praising the learning and ingenuity of the 
work, professes himself unmoved by its arguments. 1 
Similarly a critic in this country writes : " Unfortu 
nately for the theory so powerfully advanced, almost 
all the linguistic evidences by which it is supported 
are still of doubtful value, the etymology of the 
Babylonian names in most cases, and the reading in 
some, being disputed by high authorities in this ob 
scure field of inquiry. Were the linguistic points 
proved, it would be hard to resist the power of the 
argument, in spite of various difficulties arising from 
the scanty text of Genesis itself. As it is, although 
all other solutions of the knotty Biblical problem 
may be subject to still graver objections, the follow 
ing questions militate too strongly against Professor 
Delitzsch s solution : Why, if the stream of Eden be 
the middle Euphrates, is it left unnamed in the nar 
rative, though it is certain that the Hebrews were 
perfectly familiar both with the middle and the up 
per course of that river ? Why, if the Pison and 
Gihon designate the canals Pallacopas and Shat-en- 
Nil, are they said to compass lands which the canals 
only traverse ? If the lower Tigris be meant by the 
Hiddekel, why is this river described as flowing in 
front of Assyria, which lay above the central Meso- 

1 " Seine Ansicht zu begriinden wendet er sehr viel Gelehrsamkeit 
und noch mehr Scharfsinn auf, aber ich fiirchte umsonst. Nach sorg- 
faltiger Priifung muss ich festhalten an einer Lage des Paradieses in 
Utopian, wie er etwas spottisch sagt." Zeitschrift der Deutschen 
Morgenliindischen Gesellschaft^ 1882, p. 174. 


potamian lowland asserted to be Eden ? How should 
a writer familiar with the whole course of the Tigris 
deem its lower part a branch of the Euphrates ? 
Why should Cush, a name which commonly desig 
nated Ethiopia, have been used by the narrator in a 
sense in which it nowhere else occurs in the Scrip 
tures, without the least further definition ? Why, 
on the other hand, is Havilah, if the Arabian border 
land so well known to the Hebrews be meant, so 
fully described by its products ? Who tells us that 
the gold, the bdellium, and the shoham of Babylonia 
were also characteristic of the adjoining Havilah ? 
But whether these objections, in the present stage 
of Assyriological studies, be fatal to the theory of 
Professor Delitzsch or not, we have no hesitation in 
saying that his dissertation, amplified as it is by 
supplementary treatises on the ancient geography 
and ethnology of the Mesopotamian and neighbor 
ing countries, of Canaan, Egypt, and Elam, is a per 
fect treasury of knowledge, made most accessible 
by excellent indexes, and probably the most bril 
liant production in all Biblico-Assyriological litera 
ture." ! 

At the present writing, the latest monograph 
upon the subject is the one just published in the 
"Revue de 1 Histoire des Religions," from the pen of 
M. Beauvois. 2 This locates the Eden of ethnic tra 
ditions in America, and ascribes to the Keltic race 

1 The Nation. New York, Mar. 15, 1883. See Lenormant s criti 
cisms in Les Origines de VHistoire, torn. ii. ; and Halevy s in the Revue 
Critique, Paris, 1881, pp. 457-463, 477~485- 

2 " L Elysee Transatlantique et 1 Eden Occidental," par E. Beau 
vois. Revue, Paris, 1883, pp. 273 ss. See also " L Elysee des Mexi- 
cains compare a celui des Celtes," by the same author, in same Re 
view, 1884. 


no small influence upon the Greco-Roman mythol 
ogy in the development of such ideas as those per 
taining to the Gardens of the Hesperides, the Isles 
of the Blessed, etc. The site advocated is not new, 
though the line of argument is fresh and scholarly. 
The hypothesis that the cradle of the race is to be 
sought in America has before found advocacy at the 
hands of J. Klaproth, Gobineau, and others. 

That this, however, is not to be the last and only 
word on the subject is evident from the fact that, in 
a huge work just from the press, an English writer 
says : " If there be an earthly original for the heav 
enly Eden, it will be found in equatorial Africa, the 
land of seething, swarming, multitudinous, and co 
lossal life, where the mother nature grew great with 
her latest race ; the lair in which the lusty breeder 
brought forth her black, barbarian brood, and put 
forth for them such a warm, welling bosom as can 
not be paralleled elsewhere on earth. This was the 
world of wet and heaven of heat ; the land of equal 
day and dark ; that supplied the Two Truths of 
Uarti (Egyptian) ; the top of the world ; the very 
nipple (Kepd) of the breast of earth, which is there 
one vast streaming fount of moisture quick with 
life. So surely as a topographical Meru is found 
in Habesh, so surely is the Earthly Paradise, the 
original of the mythical which was carried forth 
over the world by the migrations from Kam, to be 
found there, if at all." 1 

1 The Natural Genesis, containing an attempt to recover and recon 
stitute the lost Origins of the Myths and Mysteries, Types and Sym~ 
bols. Religion and Language, ivith Egypt for the mouthpiece, and Af 
rica as the birthplace. By Gerald Massey. London, 1883 : vol. ii., p. 
162. It is impossible to understand how Mr. Massey reconciles the 
foregoing language with that used on p. 28 of the same volume, where 


In fine, so resultless seem all discussions and in 
vestigations in this field that in his work on " The 
Patriarchs of Humanity " Dr. Julius Grill, like Noel- 
deke, prefers to locate lost Paradise "in Utopia," 
and to deny to it all historic reality. 1 Evidently the 
naturalists and the ethnologists, the comparative 
mythologists, and Kultnrgeschichtschreiber, have not 
yet solved the problem. Their " mother-region " of 
the human race is as elusive and Protean as are any 
of the terrestrial Edens of theology, or of legend, 
or of poetry. 

Thus far, then, all search has been fruitless. Par 
adise is indeed lost. The explorer cannot find it; 
the theologian, the naturalist, and the archaeologist 
have all sought it in vain. Representative voices 
out of every camp are heard confessing utter igno 
rance as to the region where human history began. 
" The problem," says Professor Ebers, " remains un 

he speaks of the crooked sword Khepsh, " that turned every way, and 
by its revolution formed the circle of Eden, or, as it was represented, 
kept the way of the Tree of Life, the POLE, where the happy garden 
was planted as the primary creation, which was the home of the pri 
meval pair." But in the language of The Nation (June 26, 1884) 
the work is " an enormous conglomeration of facts set down with en 
tire indifference to scientific principles of comparison, . . . and, as 
far as the author s aim is concerned, absolutely worthless." 

1 " Der Ort, wohin die althebraische Ueberlieferung die Wiege des 
Menschengeschlechtes verlegt . . . ist also nicht auf der Erde gele- 
gen, und gehort dem Bereich der Wirklichkeit nicht an." Grill, Die 
Erzvater der Menschheit. Leipzig, 1875 : Abth. I., p. 242. 


. ,=s rt ; } r: jfjfrmwtvj !>> j>.Te 5t-;jyj ;; r 



When Newton said " Hypotheses non fingo " he did not mean that he deprived 
himself of the facilities of investigation afforded by assuming in the first instance 
what he hoped ultimately to be able to prove. Without such assumptions science 
could never have attained its present state. JOHN STUART MILL. 

In scientific investigations it is permitted to invent any hypothesis, and if it ex 
plains various large and independent classes of facts it rises to the rank of a well- 
grounded theory. CHARLES DARWIN. 



The golden guess 
Is morning star to the full round of truth. 


FROM the foregoing chapters it would seem as if 
nearly every imaginable site for the Gan-Eden of 
Genesis had been proposed, examined, and found un 
available. One, however, remains, a region of rar 
est interest in astronomical, physical, and historical 
geography, the natural centre of the only historic 
hemisphere. Considering the fascination of the sub 
ject and the inexhaustible ingenuity that has been 
expended upon it, it seems remarkable that it should 
be left to the closing years of the nineteenth cen 
tury to bring forward and seriously to test the prop 



1 As to the alleged "newness" of the above hypothesis, it is 
proper to say that something like a year elapsed after its full accept 
ance and public announcement by the writer before he could find any 
evidence that it had ever been entertained or advocated by any other 
person. He then met with the allusion in the passage quoted from 
Bishop Huet as a motto to chapter second of the preceding part, 
and with a similar allusion in an anonymous article in Dickens All 
the Year Round. Whether these were more than rhetorical flourishes 
he was long in doubt. Not until after the manuscript of the present 
work had been completed, packed, and addressed to the publishers, 


This is the hypothesis which it is proposed in the 
following pages to examine and according to the 
evidences to adjudge. We propose to make the test 
both strict and comprehensive. Hypotheses, how 
ever promising, must be brought face to face with 
reality. Ours, like its numberless predecessors, 
must be rejected if the solid facts of any of the fol 
lowing sciences show that it is inadmissible : 

1. General Geogony, or the science of the origin 
of the earth ; 

2. Mathematical or Astronomical Geography, par 
ticularly its teachings as to the inhabitableness or 
uninhabitableness of the circumpolar region with 
respect to light ; 

3. Physiographical Geology, particularly its teach 
ings as to the probability or improbability of the 
former existence and subsequent submersion of a 
circumpolar country ; 

4. Prehistoric Climatology, particularly with ref 
erence to the temperature at the Pole at the time of 
the beginning of human history ; 

5. Paleontological Botany ; 

6. Paleontological Zoology ; 

7. Paleontological Anthropology and Ethnology ; 

8. Comparative Mythology, viewed as the science 

was the doubt resolved by finding in an anonymous English magazine 
article of more than thirty years ago this brief statement : " Pastellus 
will have it that Paradise was under the North Pole." Who Pastel- 
lus was and what he wrote upon the subject remain to be investigated. 
Suffice to say that up to the date of this writing the author has found 
no book or tractate in which the above hypothesis has ever been 
advocated. This fact renders some of the mottoes prefixed to the 
chapters farther on remarkably significant and impressive. In many 
cases their authors express truths which they themselves did not 


of the oldest traditionary beliefs and memories of 
mankind. On the contrary, if the hypothesis is ca 
pable of meeting this eightfold test, and especially 
if we can show, not only that it is admissible, but 
also that in greater or less degree it is supported by 
the positive evidence of the facts in nearly all of 
these fields of knowledge, we shall afford a much 
more complete and convincing verification than is 
at all usual in matters of prehistoric research. 



It appears, then, to be a condition of a genuinely scientific hypothesis that it be 
not destined always to remain an hypothesis, but be certain to be either proved or 
disproved by that comparison with observed facts which is termed verification- . . 
Verification is proof ; if the supposition accords with the phenomena there needs 
no other evidence of it. JOHN STUART MILL. 

IT is evident, on a moment s thought, that our 
hypothesis immediately and materially modifies the 
whole problem of the location of Paradise. 

Given a prehistoric circumpolar continent at the 
North Pole as the cradle of the race, what must 
have been marked and memorable features of that 
primitive abode ? 

1. To the first men there would have been but 
one day and one night in a year. 

2. The stars, instead of seeming to rise and set, 
would have had an apparently horizontal motion 
round and round the observer from left to right. 

3. The Pole, the unmoving centre-point of the 
heavens directly overhead, would naturally have 
seemed to be the top of the world, the true heaven, 
the changeless seat of the supreme, all-ruling God. 
And if, accordingly, through all the long lifetime of 
the ante-diluvian world, the circumpolar sky was to 
human thought the true abode of God, the oldest 
post-diluvian peoples, though scattered down the 


sides of the globe half or two thirds the distance to 
the equator, could not easily have forgotten that at 
the centre and true top of the rotating sky was the 
throne of its great Creator, and that there, in the 
far North, was " the sacred quarter " of the world. 

4. Standing at the Pole of the earth, an observer 
would be not only directly under the centre of the 
celestial hemisphere, but also directly on the centre 
of the surface of the terrestrial hemisphere. There, 
and there alone, the heavenly bodies would move, 
in horizontal planes, round and round him every 
where at an apparently equal distance, and he would 
seem to himself to stand on the one precise centre- 
point of the entire earth. Every departure of a few 
miles in any direction from this polar position would 
at once confirm this first impression. If, therefore, 
primeval Eden was at the Pole, the descendants of 
the first man, going away from such an original 
country, could hardly have failed to remember it as 
the centre of all lands, the omphalos of the whole 

5. Supposing the first man to have been located 
in the central and most elevated portion of the hy 
pothetical Eden-land, the streams there originating 
and flowing seaward would have flowed, not in one 
but in various opposite directions toward all the car 
dinal points of the horizon. Moreover, all of these 
streams being obviously fed, not by each other, but 
by the rain from heaven, it would not have required 
a very powerful imagination to conceive of them as 
parts of a finer and more celestial stream whose 
head-springs were in the sky. 1 If, finally, the streams 

1 Compare the poetic representation of " the river of God," in Ps. 
Ixv. 9, 10. Also the following : " Aristotle, I remember, in his Me- 


flowing in the opposite directions grew at length into 
four opposite-flowing rivers, flumina principalia, as 
many old theologians have called them, dividing 
the circumpolar land into four nearly equal quarters, 
it would have constituted a never-to-be-forgotten 
feature of that first home of men. 

6. In another chapter we shall expose the base 
lessness of the popular impression that at the Pole 
six months of every twelve are spent in darkness, 
and shall show that, on the contrary, less than one 
fifth of the year is so spent, while more than four 
fifths are spent in light. This being true, a primi 
tive abode in that part of the world would have been 
remembered by the descendants of the first man as 
preeminently a land of beauty, preeminently the 
home of the sun. Moreover, Arctic explorers find 
it impossible to describe the nocturnal splendors of 
the Aurora Borealis in those regions, the whole 
top of the globe ofttimes seeming veiled in and 
over-canopied with quivering curtains and banners 
and streamers of living, leaping flame ; it is there 
fore easy to believe that, once exiled from such a 
home, mankind would ever have looked back to it as 
to an abode of unearthly and preternatural efful 
gence, a home fit for the occupancy of gods and 
holy immortals. 

7. Finally, assuming the prevalence of an equable 
tropical temperature, we find the biological conditions 
of the region such as the extraordinary preva 
lence of daylight, the intenser terrestrial magnetism, 

teors, speaking of the course of the Vapours, saith, there is a River 
in the Air, constantly flowing betwixt the Heavens and the Earth, 
made by the ascending and descending Vapours." Burnet, Sacred 
Theory of the Earth, p. 226. 


and the unparalleled electric forces which feed the 
Northern Lights all combining to raise a high 
probability that if ever such a land as we have sup 
posed existed, it must have presented forms of life 
surpassing those with which we are familiar ; a flora 
and fauna of almost unimagined vigor and luxuriance 
of development. Under such conditions men them 
selves may well have had a stature and strength and 
longevity never attained since the Deluge, which 
destroyed "the world that then was," and imme 
diately or ultimately occasioned the translocation of 
the seed of our new post-diluvian humanity into the 
cold and barren and desolate regions of the North 
ern Temperate zone. And if the first men were of 
the stature and strength and longevity supposed, 
how certainly would traditions of the fact linger in 
the memory of mankind long after its exile from its 
earlier and happier home ! 

Glancing back now over these various points, one 
instantly sees that they present conditions of hu 
man existence totally unlike the conditions of life 
as we know it, or as it has ever been known in what 
are called historic ages. They necessarily modify 
in the profoundest manner the whole problem of the 
site of Eden. No solution ever heretofore presented 
exposed itself to refutation at so many points. None 
ever before postulated so extraordinary an adjust 
ment of both heavens and earth. None ever before 
required, in order to its establishment, so incredibly 
wide a concurrency of testimony. Against no other 
has it ever been possible for the very stars in their 
courses to fight. If false, it demands of human tra 
dition shadowy recollections of world - conditions 
which have never existed in human experience. An 


hypothesis so peculiarly difficult must surely break 
down, if it be not true. Promising the reader, there 
fore, not a new ignis-fatuus chase, but at least the 
satisfaction of a definite result as respects one hy 
pothesis, we cordially invite his critical and patient 
attention to the facts to be presented in the follow 
ing chapters. 








It follows . . . that man, issuing from a "mother-region " still undetermined, but 
which a number of considerations indicate to have been in the North, has radiated 
in several directions ; that his migrations have been constantly from North to 
South. M. LE MARQUIS G. DE SAPORTA, in Popular Science Monthly, October, 
1883, p. 753- 

Eine jede Reise, welche nach der eisumgiirteten Inselwelt im Norden Amerikas 
unternommen wurde, weiss von Anzeichen der ehemaligen Anwesenheit eines Volkes 
zu erzahlen, welches Lander bewohnte, die heute kein menschlicher Fuss mehr zu 
betreten scheint. DR. F. BOAS, in Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fur Erdkunde in 
Berlin, Bd. xviii. (1883), p. 118. 



Les lots gen&rales de la g&ogtnie favorisent <fzinefa(on remarquable Fhypothhe 
dont nous venons d?ebaucher les traits. COUNT SAPORTA. 

COULD it once be proven that the Arctic termi 
nus of the earth has always been the ice-bound re 
gion which it now is, and which for thousands of 
years it has been, it would of course be useless to 
entertain for a moment the hypothesis that the cra 
dle of the human race was there located. Prob 
ably the popular impression that from the beginning 
of the world the far North has been the region of 
unendurable cold has been one of the chief reasons 
why our hypothesis is so late in claiming attention. 
At the present time, however, so far as this difficulty 
is concerned, scientific studies have abundantly pre 
pared the way for the new theory. 

That the earth is a slowly cooling body is a doc 
trine now all but universally accepted. In saying 
this we say nothing for or against the so-called neb 
ular hypothesis of the origin of the world, for both 
friends and foes of this unproven hypothesis believe 
in what is termed the secular cooling or refrigera 
tion of the earth. All authorities in this field hold 
and teach that the time was when the slowly solid 
ifying planet was too hot to support any form of life, 
and that only at some particular time in the cooling 


process was there a temperature reached which was 
adapted to the necessities of living things. 

On what portion of the earth s surface, now, 
would this temperature first be reached ? Or would 
it everywhere be reached at the same time ? 

These are most interesting questions, and the 
writer has often marveled that in scientific treatises 
on the cooling globe he could nowhere find them 
formally discussed. Granting, however, a uniform 
interior heat and a uniform loss of it in the mode 
of superficial radiation in all directions into space, 
it is certain that if these were the only factors in 
the problem the cooling process would affect every 
part of the surface in a uniform manner, and we 
might confidently infer that the temperature com 
patible with organic life was reached at the same 
time at all points of the earth s surface. But the 
factors named are not the only ones of the problem. 
In those far-off geologic ages the heat received from 
the great central furnace of our system, the sun, 
cannot have been less than at the present time. 
Some astronomers and geologists claim that it was 
greater. 1 In any case, therefore, as early as the time 
when the earth s atmosphere became penetrable by 
the rays of the sun, local differences of temperature 
must have been produced at the base of the atmos 
phere, whether the body of the globe was as yet 
crusted over or not. Then as now, viewed apart 
from air and water currents, every particular spot on 
the surface of the globe must have had a tempera 
ture determined, first by the fixed and uniform in 
herent heat of the earth-mass, and secondly by the 
varying quantity of heat received from the sun. But 

i See Winchell, World-Life, pp. 484-490. 


the difference between the solar heat received at a 
point under the equator and that received at a point 
at the pole cannot have been less in those ages than 
at the present time ; and this incessant increment 
of the equatorial heat of the earth by the direct rays 
of the sun suggests at once the portions of the globe 
to which we must look if we would find the regions 
which first became cool enough to sustain organic 
life. Then as now the polar regions must have 
been cooler than the equatorial, and hence, as far as 
the teachings of theoretical geogony can be trusted, 
the conclusion is inevitable that there, to wit, in the 
polar regions, life first became possible. 1 

The bearing of this result upon our central thesis 
is at once obvious. We asked the geologist this 
question : " Is the hypothesis of a primeval polar 
Eden admissible ? " Looking at the slowly cooling 
earth alone, he replies, " Eden conditions have prob 
ably at one time or another been found everywhere 
upon the surface of the earth. Paradise may have 
been anywhere." Looking at the cosmic environ 
ment, however, he adds, " But while Paradise may 
have been anywhere, the first portions of the earth s 
surface sufficiently cool to present the conditions 
of Eden life were assuredly at the Poles." 

1 The similar or identical reasonings of Professor Philip Spiller 
were unknown to me when the foregoing was written. See the fol 
lowing : Die Weltschopfung vom Standpunkte der heutigen Wissen- 
schaft. Mil neuen Untersuchungen, 1868, 2d ed., 1873. Die Entste- 
hung der Welt imd die Einheit der Naturkrdfte. Populdre Kosmogo- 
nie, 1872. Die Urkraft des Weltalls nach ihrem Wesen und Wirken 
auf alien Naturgebieten. Berlin, 1879. In Professor Otto Kuntze s 
latest work, Phytogeogenesis : Die vorweltliche Entwickehing der Erd~ 
kruste und der Pflanzen, Leipsic, 1884, 1 also find traces of a recog 
nition of the truth above set forth. See pp. 51, 52, 53, 60, of the work. 



The nights are never so dark at the Pole as in other regions, for the moon and 
stars seem to possess twice as much light and effulgence. In addition, there is a 
continuous light in the North, the varied shades and play of which are amongst 
the strangest phenomena of nature. RAMBOSSON S Astronomy. 

The fact which gives the phenomenon of the polar aurora its greatest impor 
tance is that the earth becomes self-luminous ; that, besides the light which as a 
planet it receives from the central body, it shows a capability of sustaining a lu 
minous process proper to itself, HUMBOLDT. 

WE are apt to think of an unbroken night of six 
months at the Pole. Eminent scientific authorities 
speak as if this conception were correct. Thus Pro 
fessor Geikie, in his admirable new manual of Geol 
ogy, writing of the Arctic flora of the Miocene age, 
says, "When we remember that this vegetation 
grew luxuriantly within 8 15 of the North Pole, 
in a region which is in darkness for half of the year y 
... we can realize the difficulty of the problem in 
the distribution of climate which these facts present 
to the geologist." * 

In like manner Sir Charles Lyell, discussing the 
question of the possibility of whales reaching the 
supposed open sea at the Pole, says, " They could 
pass under considerable barriers of ice, provided 
there were "openings here and there; and so they 
may, perhaps, reach a more open sea near the Pole, 

1 Text-book of Geology. By Archibald Geikie, LL. D., F. R. S 
London, 1882 : p. 869. 


and find sustenance there during a day of more than 
five months 1 duration." 1 

From such representations as these the reader 
naturally carries away the impression that daylight 
lasts at the Pole somewhat over five months, while 
all the rest of the year the region is shrouded in 
darkness. Were this true, it would certainly be an 
unpromising region in which to search for the ter 
restrial Paradise. 

Fortunately for our hypothesis, this conception of 
the duration of the polar night is very far from true. 
The half-yearly reign of darkness exists only in the 
uninstructed imagination. Astronomical geography 
teaches that, as respects daylight, the polar regions 
are and always have been the most favored portions 
of the globe. As early a popularizer of natural sci 
ence as the Rev. Thomas Dick set forth the real 
facts as follows : " Under the Poles, where the dark 
ness of night would continue six months without in 
termission if there were no refraction, total dark 
ness does not prevail one half of this period. When 
the sun sets at the North Pole, about the 2$d of 
September, the inhabitants (if any) enjoy a perpet 
ual aurora till he has descended eighteen degrees 
below the horizon. In his course through the eclip 
tic, the sun is two months before he can reach this 
point, during which time there is a perpetual twi 
light. In two months more he arrives again at the 
same point, namely, eighteen degrees below the ho 
rizon, when a new twilight commences, which is 
continually increasing in brilliancy for other two 
months, at the end of which the body of this lumi 
nary is seen rising in all its glory. So that in this 

1 Principles of Geology, New York ed., vol. i., p. 246. 


region the light of day is enjoyed in a greater or 
less degree for ten months, without interruption by 
the effects of atmospheric refraction ; and during 
the two months when the influence of the solar light 
is entirely withdrawn, the moon is shining above the 
horizon for two half months without intermission ; 
and thus it happens that no more than two separate 
fortnights are passed in total darkness, and this 
darkness is alleviated by the light of the stars and 
the frequent coruscations of the Aurora Borealis. 
Hence it appears that there are no portions of our 
globe which enjoy throughout the year so large a 
portion of the solar light as these northern re 
gions." 1 

Striking as is this account of the polar day, it is 
noteworthy that experience has repeatedly shown 
that the actual duration of light in high latitudes 
exceeds even the calculations of the astronomers. 
Thus, in the spring of 1873, the officers of the Aus 
trian expedition, under Lieutenants Weyprecht and 
Payer, were surprised to behold the sun three days 
before the date on which he was expected to rise. 
A late writer thus states the case : " In the latitude 
(79 1 S ! N.) in which the Tegethoff was lying, the 
sun ought to reappear above the horizon on the iQth 
of February ; but, owing to an effect of refraction, 
due to the low temperature prevailing, 30 R., the 
explorers were able to salute its rays three days ear 
lier." 2 

Lieutenant Payer s own account is as follows : 
"Though the sun did not return to our latitude (78 

1 Works of Thomas Dick, LL. >., The Practical Astronomer, ch. 
ii. Hartford, vol. ii., second half, p. 30. 

2 Recent Expeditions in Eastern Polar Seas. London, 1882 : p. 83 


15 N., 71 38 E. long.) till the iQth of February, 
we were able to greet his beams three days previous 
to that date, owing to the strong refraction of i 40 
which accompanied a temperature of 30 R." 1 

Still more remarkable was the experience of Ba- 
rentz s Arctic expedition, almost three hundred years 
ago. Dr. Dick alludes to it as follows : " The re 
fractive power of the atmosphere has been found to 
be much greater, in certain cases, than what has 
now been stated. In the year 1595 [1596-97] a 
company of Dutch sailors having been wrecked on 
the shores of Novaia Zemlia, and having been obliged 
to remain in that desolate region during a night of 
more than three months [it was a little less than 
three months], beheld the sun make his appearance 
in the horizon about sixteen days before the time in 
which he should have risen according to calculation, 
and when his body was actually more than four de 
grees below the horizon." The only explanation of 
this astonishing phenomenon which the same writer 
offers is found in this appended clause, " which 
circumstance has been attributed to the great refrac 
tive power of the atmosphere in those intensely cold 
regions." This is so unsatisfactory that not a few 
prefer to believe, what seems entirely incredible, 
namely, that Barentz and his men in the short space 
of less than three months made a blunder of sixteen 
days in their time record. 

Professor Nordenskjold has recently referred to 
the case as follows : " On the J ^th November the 
sun disappeared and was again visible on the 24 3 1;. 
These dates have caused scientific men much per 
plexity, because, in latitude 76 North, the upper 

1 New Lands within the Arctic Circle. Lond. 1876 : vol. i., p. 237. 


edge of the sun ought to have ceased to be visible 
when the sun s south declination in autumn became 
greater than I3 , 1 and to have become visible again 
when the declination again became less than that 
figure ; that is to say, the sun ought to have been 
seen for the last time at Barentz s Ice Haven on the 
5S- October, and it ought to have appeared again 
there on the ^ Feb. It has been supposed that the 
deviation arose from a considerable error in count 
ing the days, but this was unanimously denied by 
the crew who wintered." 2 In a foot-note he gives 
proofs which seem convincing that no such error 
can have been committed. 

But while these experiences of Barentz and the 
Austrians point to a duration of darkness at the 
Pole of less than sixty days out of the three hundred 
and sixty-five, some apparently good authorities ex 
tend the period to seventy-six or seventy-seven days. 
Thus Captain Bedford Pirn, of the Royal Navy of 
Great Britain, makes the following statement : " On 
the 1 6th of March the sun rises, preceded by a long 
dawn of forty-seven days, namely, from the 2Qth of 
January, when the first glimmer of light appears. 
On the 25th of September the sun sets, and after a 
twilight of forty-eight days, namely, on the I3th of 
November, darkness reigns supreme, so far as the 
sun is concerned, for seventy-six days, followed by 
one long period of light, the sun remaining above 
the horizon one hundred and ninety-four days. The 
year, therefore, is thus divided at the Pole: 194 days 
sun ; 76 darkness ; 47 days dawn ; 48 twilight." J 

1 On the assumption of a horizontal refraction of about 45 . 

2 The Voyage of the Vega. London, 1882 : p. 192. 

8 Pirn s Marine Pocket Case : quoted in Kinn s Harmony of th 
Bible with Science. London, 1882 : 2d ed., p. 474. 


Even according to this account we should have at 
the Pole only 76 days of darkness to 289 days of 
light in the year. In other words, instead of being 
in darkness little short of half of the time, as at the 
equator, one would be in darkness but about one 
fourth of the time. As far as light is concerned, 
therefore, even on this calculation the polar region 
is twice as favorable to life as any equatorial region 
that can be named. 

But whence this discrepancy among the astrono 
mers ? Why should some of them make the polar 
night sixteen days longer than others ? 

The simple answer is that they proceed upon dif 
ferent assumptions as to atmospheric refraction in 
the region of the Pole. In our latitude twilight is 
usually reckoned to begin when the centre of the 
rising sun is yet 18 below the horizon. Starting 
with this as the limit, and counting sunrise and sun 
set to be the moments when the sun s upper limb is 
on the horizon, we arrive at the division of the polar 
year given by Captain Pirn. But astronomers say 
that in England twilight has been observed when 
the sun was 21 below the horizon. To be entirely 
safe some have therefore taken 20 as the limit of 
solar depression, and reckoning with this datum, in 
stead of the 1 8 before mentioned, have found that 
at the Pole the morning twilight would begin Jan 
uary 2Oth, and the evening twilight would cease No 
vember 2 1 st. This would make the period of dark 
ness but 60 days, and the period of light 305. Thus 
a difference of only two degrees in the assumed 
limit of solar depression at the beginning and end 
of the twilights makes the difference of sixteen days 
in the supposed duration of darkness. " Which of 


the two calculations," writes an eminent American 
mathematician, " is the more correct is known, I im 
agine, by no one." l 

To us in the present discussion the discrepancy is 
of very little moment. It is only a question as to 
whether at the Pole there is daylight three fourths 
or five sixths of the year. Both suppositions may 
be and probably are wrong. For if "in tropical 
climates 16 or 17 is said to be a sufficient allow 
ance for the extreme solar depression, while, on the 
other hand, it is said in England to vary from 17 to 
21," it certainly looks as though in yet higher lati 
tudes the light of the sun might be discernible when 
its body is as much as 21 or 22 below the horizon; 
and this would reduce the annual polar darkness to 
less than fifty days. This supposition is rendered 
the more probable by the fact that, while the ex 
peditions already alluded to found much more of 
daylight than their astronomical calculations had 
led them to expect, we have no offsetting accounts 
where the sun was awaited in vain. The final and 
authoritative settlement of the question can be 
reached only by actual observation. Among the 
fascinating problems whose solution awaits the 
progress of Arctic exploration, we must therefore 
place the scientific determination of the unknown 
duration of the polar day. 

In view of the foregoing we are certainly safe in 
conceiving of the polar night as lasting not over 
four fortnights. During two of these, as Dick re 
minds us, the moon would be walking in beauty 

1 Professor J. M. Van Vleck, LL. D., of Wesleyan University, in 
a letter to the author under date of October 11, 1883. Professor Van 
Vleck was for many years a collaborates upon the American Epheme- 
ris and Nautical Almanac. He is the authority for the next quoted 


through the heavens, and exhibiting all her changing 
phases of loveliness in unbroken successions. The 
other two would be passed beneath the starry arch 
of heaven, all of whose sparkling constellations 
would be moving round and round the observer in 
exactly horizontal orbits. 

In such a perfect and regular stellar system kept 
in view so long and so continuously, the irregular 
movements of the "planets," or wandering stars, 
could not possibly escape observation. All their cu 
rious accelerations, retardations, conjunctions, decli 
nations, would be perfectly marked and measured on 
the revolving but changeless dial - plate of the re 
moter sky. Dwelling in such a natural observatory, 
any people would of necessity become astronomers. 1 
And how magnificent and orderly would the on 
goings of the universe appear when viewed from 
underneath a firmament whose centre of revolution 
was fixed in the observer s zenith! After long 
months of unbroken daylight; how would one s soul 
yearn for a new vision of those stellar glories of the 
night ! Nor would the moon and silent stars be the 
only attractions of the brief period during which 
the light of the sun was withdrawn. The mystic 
play of the Northern Light would transform the 
familiar daylight world into a veritable fairy-land. 

1 Even an equatorial position would probably have been less favor 
able. " The Peruvians had also their recurrent religious festivals ; . . . 
but the geographic position of Peru, with Quito, its holy city, lying 
immediately under the equator, greatly simplified the process by which 
they regulated their religious festivals by the solstices and equinoxes ; 
and the facilities which their equatorial position afforded for deter 
mining the few indispensable periods in their calendar removed all 
stimulus to fiirther progress" Dr. Daniel Wilson on " Pre-Aryan 
American Man," in Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society 
f Canada. Montreal, 1883 : vol. i., sect, ii., p. 60. 


In our latitude the Aurora Borealis is a compara 
tively rare and tame phenomenon. In the highest 
Arctic regions it almost nightly kindles its unearthly 
glories. 1 In itself it is lightning diluted and subli 
mated to the point of harmlessness. 2 Sometimes 
these electric discharges not only fill the whole 
heaven with palpitating draperies, but also tip the 
hills with lambent flame, and cause the very soil on 
which one stands to prickle with a kind of life. 3 

But after all the glories of the night begin the 
greater glories of the polar day. Who with any 
approach to adequacy has ever described a dawn ? 
What poet has not attempted it, and what poet has 
not failed ? But if it be impossible to picture one 

1 A lately published report, speaking of the last winter at one of 
these circumpolar stations of the far North, says : " Auroras have 
been seen here during the winter almost every night, and during all 
weathers. . . . The auroral forms or types which have appeared have 
been those generally known, from the grand corona to the modest, pul 
sating, little luminous cloud ; but as a characteristic feature attending 
them all, I must mention the absence of stability in the types. Thus 
only on a few occasions has there been an opportunity to watch the 
stationary arc, but in general the aurorae have represented wafting 
draperies and shining streamers with ever-changing position and in 
tensity." A. S. Steen, "The Norwegian Circumpolar Station," in 
Nature, October n, 1883, p. 568. 

2 " The electric discharges which take place in the polar regions 
between the positive electricity of the atmosphere and the negative 
electricity of the earth are the essential and unique cause of the for 
mation of the polar light." M. de la Rive in The Arctic Manual, p. 

3 "Mr. Lemstrom concluded that an electric discharge which could 
only be seen by means of the spectroscope was taking place on the 
surface of the ground all round him, and that from a distance it would 
appear as a faint display of Aurora," a display like " the phe 
nomena of pale and flaming light which is sometimes seen on the top 
of the Spitzbergen mountains." The Arctic Manual, p. 739. Com 
pare Elias Loomis, Aurora Borealis, Smithsonian Report, 1865. H. 
Fritz, Das Polarlicht. Leipsic, 1881. 

An actual Aurora Borealis. 


of our brief and evanescent day-dawns, who shall at 
tempt a description of that surpassing spectacle in 
which all the splendors and loveliness of sixty of our 
dawns are combined in one. No words can ever por 
tray it. No poet s imagination, even, has ever given 
us such unearthly scenery. 

First of all appears low in the horizon of the night- 
sky a scarcely visible flush of light. At first it only 
makes a few stars light seem a trifle fainter, but 
after a little it is seen to be increasing, and to be 
moving laterally along the yet dark horizon. Twen 
ty-four hours later it has made a complete circuit 
around the observer, and is causing a larger number 
of stars to pale. Soon the widening light glows with 
the lustre of " Orient pearl." Onward it moves in 
its stately rounds, until the pearly whiteness burns 
into ruddy rose-light, fringed with purple and gold. 
Day after day, as we measure days, this splendid 
panorama circles on, and, according as atmospheric 
conditions and clouds present more or less favorable 
conditions of reflection, kindles and fades, kindles 
and fades, fades only to kindle next time yet more 
brightly, as the still hidden sun comes nearer and 
nearer his point of emergence. At length, when for 
two long months such prophetic displays have been 
filling the whole heavens with these increscent and 
revolving splendors, the sun begins to emerge from 
his long retirement, and to display himself once 
more to human vision. After one or two circuits, 
during which his dazzling upper limb grows to a, full- 
orbed disk, he clears all hill-tops of the distant hori 
zon, and for six full months circles around and 
around the world s great axis in full view, suffering 
no night to fall upon his favored home-land at the 


Pole. Even when at last he sinks again from view 
he covers his retreat with a repetition of the deepen 
ing and fading splendors which filled his long dawn 
ing, as if in these pulses of more and more distant 
light he were signaling back to the forsaken world 
the promises and prophecies of an early return. 

In these prosaic sentences we aim at no descrip 
tion of the indescribable ; we only remind ourselves 
of the bald facts and conditions which govern the 
unpicturable transformations of each year-long polar 
night and day. 

Enough, however, has been said for our purpose. 
Whoever seeks as a probable location for Paradise 
the heavenliest spot on earth with respect to light 
and darkness, and with respect to celestial scenery, 
must be content to seek it at the Arctic Pole. 
Here is the true City of the Sun. Here is the one 
and only spot on earth respecting which it would 
seem as if the Creator had said, as of His own heav 
enly residence, "There shall be no night there." 



Die arctische Geologie birgt die Schliissel zu Losung vieler Rathsel. PROFES 

A n extensive continent occupied this portion of the globe when these strata "were 

OUR hypothesis calls for an antediluvian conti 
nent at the Arctic Pole. It is interesting to find 
that a writer upon the Deluge writing more than 
forty years ago advanced the same postulate. 1 Is 
the supposition that there existed such a continent 
scientifically admissible ? 

Until very recently too little was known of the 
geology of the high latitudes to warrant or even to 
occasion the discussion of such a question. Even 
now, with all the contemporary interest in Arctic 
exploration, it is difficult to find any author who has 
distinctly propounded to himself and discussed the 
question as to the geologic age of the Arctic Ocean. 
It will not be strange, therefore, if we have here to 
content ourselves with showing, first, that geologists 

1 " On peut supposer, et je tacherai de developper cette idee plus 
tard, qu il a existe une periode geologique plus recoulee, . . . et qu a 
cette epoque 1 Europe, 1 Asie, et 1 Amerique septentrionale se joign- 
aient au pole nord de maniere & former un continent d une etendue 
prodigeuse, se prolongueant vers le pole sud en trois presqu iles, sa- 
voir: 1 Amerique meridionale, 1 Afrique, et POceanie. C est des 
debris de cet ancien continent que des revolutions violentes ont forme 
les terres actuelles." Frederik Klee, Le Deluge, French ed. Paris, 
1847: p. 83. (Danish original, 1842.) 


and paleontologists do not think the present distri 
bution of Arctic sea and land to be the primeval 
one ; and secondly, that in their opinion, incidentally 
expressed, a " continent " once existed within the 
Arctic Circle of which at present only vestiges re 

We will begin with the distinguished Alfred Rus- 
sel Wallace, who in speaking of the Miocene period 
presents us with a very different Northern hemi 
sphere from ours of to-day. For instance, in his 
view Scandinavia was at that time a vast island. He 
says : " The distribution of the Eocene and Miocene 
formations shows that during a considerable portion 
of the Tertiary period an inland sea, more or less oc 
cupied by an archipelago of islands, extended across 
Central Europe between the Baltic and the Black 
and Caspian seas, and thence by narrower channels 
southeastward to the valley of the Euphrates and 
the Persian Gulf, thus opening a communication 
between the North Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. 
From the Caspian also a wide arm of the sea ex 
tended, during some part of the Tertiary epoch, 
northwards to the Arctic Ocean, and there is noth 
ing to show that this sea may not have been in 
existence during the whole Tertiary period. An 
other channel probably existed over Egypt into the 
eastern basin of the Mediterranean and the Black 
Sea ; while it is probable that there was a communi 
cation between the Baltic and the White Sea, leav 
ing Scandinavia as an extensive island. Turning to 
India, we find that an arm of the sea, of great width 
and depth, extended from the Bay of Bengal to the 
mouths of the Indus ; while the enormous depression 
indicated by the presence of marine fossils of Eo- 


cene age at a height of 16,500 feet in Western Tibet 
renders it not improbable that a more direct chan 
nel across Afghanistan may have opened a commu 
nication between the West Asiatic and Polar seas." 1 

Later, in the same book, Mr. Wallace incidentally 
shows that the facts of Arctic paleontology call for 
the supposition of a primitive Eocene continent in 
the highest latitudes, a continent which no longer 
exists. His language is, " The rich and varied fauna 
which inhabited Europe at the dawn of the Terti 
ary period as shown by the abundant remains of 
mammalia wherever suitable deposits of Eocene age 
have been discovered proves that an extensive 
Palearctic continent then existed." 2 

Another most eminent authority in Arctic pale 
ontology, the late Professor Heer, of Zurich, fully 
fifteen years ago arrived at and published the con 
clusion that the facts presented in the Arctic fossils 
plainly point to the existence in Miocene time of a 
no longer existing polar continent. Fuller reference 
to his views will be made in our next chapter. 3 

On another and more lithological line of evidence 
Baron Nordenskjold, the eminent Arctic explorer, 
has arrived at the same conclusion. Speaking of 
certain rock strata north of the 6gth degree of north 
latitude, he says, " An extensive continent occupied 
this portion of the globe when these strata were de 
posited." 4 Elsewhere he speaks of this " ancient 
polar continent " as something already accepted and 
universally understood among scientific men. He 

1 Island Life. London, 1880: pp. 184, 185. 

2 Ibid., p. 362. 

8 Professor Heer, deceased Sept. 27, 1883. On the preeminence 
of his authority in this field, see Nature, Oct. 25, page 612. 

* Expedition to Greenland. Arctic Manual, London, 1875: p. 423. 


also alludes to the conspiring evidences of its for 
mer existence found in different departments of re- 
search. " These basalt beds," he remarks, " prob 
ably originated from a volcanic chain, active during 
the Tertiary period, which perhaps limits the an 
cient polar continent, in the same manner as is now 
the case with the eastern coast of Asia and the 
western of America ; this confirming the division of 
land and water in the Tertiary period, which upon 
totally different grounds has been supposed to have 
existed." 1 

Another authority in this field, writing of the 
theory that continuous land once connected Europe 
and North America at the North, remarks, " In 
further support of this theory we have the fact that 
no trace of sea deposit of Eocene age has ever been 
found in the polar area, all the vestiges of strata 
remaining showing that these latitudes were then 
occupied by dry land." 2 

Finally, as our assumption of the early existence 
of a circumpolar Arctic continent is thus supported 
by most competent geological authority, so is also 
our hypothesis that its disappearance was due to 
a submergence beneath the waters of the Arctic 
Ocean. On this point what could be more explicit 
and satisfactory than the following, from one of the 
greatest of living geologists : " We know very well 
that . . . within a comparatively recent geological 
period ... a wide stretch of Arctic land, of which 
Novaia Zemlia and Spitzbergen formed a part, has 
been submerged." 3 

1 Arctic Manual, p. 420. 

2 J. Starkie Gardner in Nature, London, Dec. 12, 1878 : p. 127. 

8 James Geikie, LL. D., F. R. S., Prehistoric Europe. A Geo 
logical Sketch. London, 1881 : p. 41. Compare Louis Falies, tudes 


As to the natural conditions and forces which 
may be conceived as having brought about this 
continental catastrophe, geologists are not so well 
agreed. The French savant, Alfonse-Joseph Adhe- 
mar, 1 has advanced a theory that this North-polar 
deluge was only one of an alternating series, which 
in age-long periods recur first at the North and 
then at the South Pole. Flammarion, writing of it, 
says : " This theory depends on the fact of the un 
equal length of the seasons in the two hemispheres. 
Our autumn and winter last 179 days. In the south 
ern hemisphere they last 186 days. This seven 
days, or 168 hours of difference, increase each year 
the coldness of the pole. During 10,500 years the 
ice accumulates at one pole and melts at the other, 
thereby displacing the earth s centre of gravity. 
Now a time will arrive when, after the maximum of 
elevation of temperature on one side, a catastrophe 
will happen which will bring back the centre of 
gravity to the centre of the figure, and cause an im 
mense deluge. The deluge of the North Pole was 
4,200 years ago ; therefore the next will be 6,300 
hence." 2 

Another recent theory teaches that the poles are 
periodically deluged, but simultaneously, not in al 
ternation. The alternative movement is at the equa 
tor. The crust of the earth at the equator is all the 
time rising or sinking in a kind of aeonian rhythm. 

historiques et philosophiques sur les Civilisations Europeenne, Romaine, 
Greque, etc. Paris, 1874: vol. i., pp. 348-352. 

1 In his Revolutions de la Mer. 2 ed, 1860. 

2 Flammarion naturally adds, " It is very obvious to ask on this, 
Why should there be a catastrophe, and why should not the centre of 
gravity return gradually, as it was gradually displaced ? " Astronomi 
cal Myths, p. 426. But a gradual displacement would produce a del 
uge, only a gradual one. 


Whenever it sinks beyond the equilibrium figure, 
due to its actual rate of rotation, lands emerge at the 
poles ; whenever it rises beyond the equilibrium 
figure, the polar lands sink and are submerged be 
neath the waters of the ocean. Professor Alexander 
Winchell thus expounds the view : " It has been 
shown that one of the actions of tides upon a plan 
etary body tends to diminish its rate of rotation. 
Correspondingly, its equatorial protuberance will 
tend to diminish. In the case of a planet still re 
taining its liquid condition, the equatorial subsidence 
will keep nearly even pace with the retardation. 
To whatever extent viscosity exists, the subsidence 
will follow the retardation. There will exist an ex 
cess of protuberance beyond the equilibrium figure 
due to the actual rotation, and this will act as an 
additional retardative cause. In the case of an in- 
crusted and somewhat rigid planet, the excess of 
ellipticity would attain its greatest value. It would 
continue to augment until the strain upon the mass 
should become sufficient to lower the excessive pro 
tuberance to the equilibrium figure. The recovery 
of this figure might take place convulsively. The 
equatorial regions would then subside, and the polar 
would rise. In the case of an incrusted planet ex 
tensively covered, like the earth, by a film of water, 
retarded rotation would be attended by a prompt 
subsidence of the equatorial waters and rise of the 
polar waters to about twice the same extent. In 
other words, the equatorial lands would emerge, and 
the polar lands would become submerged. The 
amount of emergence would diminish with increase 
of distance from the equator, and the amount of 
submergence would diminish with increase of dis- 


tance from the pole. In about the latitude of 30 
the two tendencies would meet and neutralize each 
other. Under these conditions, an incrusted and 
ocean-covered planet, since it must be undergoing 
a process of rotary retardation, must possess the 
deepest oceans about the poles and the shallowest 
about the equator. The first emergences of land, 
accordingly, will take place within the equatorial 
zone ; and the highest elevations and greatest land 
areas will exist within that zone. The elevation of 
equatorial land-masses would interpose new obstruc 
tions to the equatorial ocean current. This would 
divert it in new directions, and thus modify all cli 
mates within reach of oceanic influences. Changes 
of currents would necessitate the migration of ma 
rine faunas, and changes of climate would modify 
the faunas and floras of the land. 

"But the protrusion of the equatorial land-mass 
could not increase indefinitely. The same central 
force which retains the ocean continually at the equi 
librium figure strains the solid mass in the same di 
rection. The strain must at length become greater 
than the rigidity of the mass can withstand. The 
equatorial land protuberance will subside toward 
the level of the ocean. Some parts of the ocean s 
bottom must correspondingly rise. Naturally, the 
parts about the poles will rise most. Thus some 
equatorial lands will become submerged, and some 
northern and southern areas may become newly 

" But these vertical movements would not be ar 
rested precisely at the point of recovery of the equi 
librium figure. As suggested by Prof. J. E. Todd, 
and less explicitly by Sir Wm. Thomson, the move- 


ment would pass the equilibrium figure to an extent 
proportional to the cumulation of strain. The equa 
torial region would become too much depressed, and 
the polar regions too much elevated. The effect of 
this would be to accelerate the rotation sufficiently 
to neutralize the ceaseless tidal retardation. The 
day would be shortened. The ocean would rise still 
higher along the shores of equatorial lands, and sub 
side along the shores of polar lands.. An extension 
of polar lands would immediately modify the cli 
mates of the higher latitudes. They would become 
subject to greater extremes. A considerable eleva 
tion of polar lands would diminish the mean tem 
perature, and the region of perpetual snow would be 
enlarged. These effects would visit the northern 
and southern hemispheres simultaneously. 

" Such effects would follow from an excessive sub 
sidence of equatorial lands. But the constant re- 
tardative action of the tides would cause the equa 
torial lands again to emerge, and protrude beyond 
the limits of the equilibrium figure attained in a 
later age. Thus the former condition would return, 
and the former events would be repeated. In the 
nature of force and matter these oscillations should 
be repeated many times. Professor Todd suggests 
that the present terrestrial age is one of equatorial 
land subsidence and of high latitude emergence. 
Immediately preceding the present, the Champlain 
epoch was one of northern and probably of south 
polar subsidence ; while further back, in the Glacial 
epoch, we have evidence of northern, and perhaps 
also south latitude elevation." l 

1 World- Lif e ; or Comparative Geology. Chicago, 1883 : pp. 278- 


Leibnitz, Deluc, and others, have presented a still 
different view of the etiology of all deluges, accord 
ing to which they are the result of a steady shrink 
age of the earth in consequence of its secular cool 
ing. According to this theory, after once a solid 
earth -crust had been formed, the cooling nucleus 
within it withdrew the support on which the crust 
had rested, in proportion as it shrank away from be 
neath it, until, as often as the subterranean voids 
thus created became too great for the strength of the 
crust, this of necessity fell in with the force of in 
computable tons, carrying the ruined surface to such 
a depth as to cause it immediately ta be overflowed 
and submerged by the adjacent water| of the ocean. 
The geologic history of the earth is divided into 
its strongly marked periods by these successive 
" collapsions " of the rocky strata which constituted 
the primitive crust. " Each succeeding cataclysm," 
says a recent advocate of the view, " considered as a 
universal catastrophe, must leave the globe a wreck, 
like the ruin of some immense cathedral whose dome 
and arches have fallen in. Cornice and frieze, pillar 
and entablature, broken and dislocated, lie at all an 
gles of inclination and in the utmost confusion. So 
it is with the ancient rocks and more modern strata. 
Only to this mighty wreck have been added the out- 
gushings of molten matter into fissures, creating 
dikes, and the unsparing movements of oceans 
sweeping loose materials and perishing forms of all 
sorts from one place to another, partially covering 
up and disguising the desolation." 

Again, the same writer says : " The present sun 
face of the earth is comparatively recent. The last 
great cataclysm is, geologically speaking, not very 


ancient. Accumulating evidence compels us to be 
lieve that one of those destructive events has oc 
curred since the human race was created. The facts 
I have presented plainly indicate that another is in 
the course of preparation. Each of these vast peri 
odical voids between the nucleus and the crust is 
filled by collapsion of the surface. . . . Thus, if we 
assume that the globe was one hundred or three 
hundred miles greater in all its diameters when its 
crust became hard and was bathed with the earliest 
seas, and when marine plants and trilobites and mol- 
lusca began to appear, the lithological characteris 
tics of the paleozoic ages will be more acceptably 
deciphered. So successively with the carboniferous 
periods, whose vast areas have been folded up and 
overflowed, and whose fields for reproduction have 
been so numerous and extensive as to convince us 
that Arctic America, during those remote ages, pre 
sented tropical positions to the sun." 1 

Although starting with no such purpose, the au 
thor, in expounding this general Leibnitzian theory 
of all deluges, incidentally explains the submersion 
of the primeval Arctic continent. In accordance 
with his theory, he asserts that " the diameter of the 
earth at the poles must have been at some more an 
cient epoch very much greater than now. It must 
have been more than twenty-seven miles greater to 
permit such equatorial or tropical exposures to the 

1 C. F. Winslow, M. D., The Cooling Globe, or the Mechanics of 
Geology. Boston, 1865 : pp. 50, 51. For the latest presentations and 
criticisms of this general theory, see Winchell s World -Life, 1883, 
pp. 302-308, and the literature there given. Among the older trea 
tises constructed upon it, none is perhaps of so great interest to 
the general reader as the work on The Deluge, by Fre derik Klee 
(Danish 1842, German 1843, French 1847). 


sun as we know to be necessary for the production 
of those vegetable forms which abound in the coal 
measures of Arctic latitudes. 1 If it was fifty or a 
hundred miles greater during any portion of the 
carboniferous age, it might have been two hundred 
during the Taconic period, and perhaps three hun 
dred or more when the life-force began to fashion its 
primordial and rudimentary organisms upon its wait 
ing surface." He furthermore distinctly asserts that 
Sir Isaac Newton s supposed demonstration that the 
oblateness of the earth s figure is due to the centrif 
ugal force generated by its rotation " is an error un 
worthy of further consideration among geologists." 
The true explanation, as he regards it, is stated as 
follows : " The shorter axes of the globe what at 
present are our poles are not the result of flatten 
ing by rotation, but by a sudden falling in of sur 
face." 2 

Here, of course, is just that down-sinking of wide 
polar regions, in " comparatively recent " geologic 
time, demanded by the facts of Arctic geology. It 
must have been greater than any of those which 
have occurred in other portions of the globe, for it 
has permanently modified the originally and natu 
rally spherical figure of the earth. The author is 
" compelled to believe " that it, or one like it, " oc 
curred since the human race was created." More 
over, this belief is in no wise built upon the Biblical 
record of the Deluge, for he speaks almost bitterly 
of " the retarding influence of Jewish legends upon 
the free expansion of the human intellect," and 

1 Dr. Winslow seems here to forget that the primeval polar conti 
nent was of necessity the sunniest of all lands. 

2 Ibid., p. 49. 



makes Moses one of the two men whose " declara 
tions and authority, more than the statements of all 
others, have retarded the advancement of general 
knowledge." Happily for Moses, the second in this 
portentous duumvirate is no worse a man than Sir 
Isaac Newton ! 

It is by no means necessary to commit ourselves 
to any one of these theories of deluges, or to seek 
still other explanations of the recognized subsidence 
of the basin now occupied by the Arctic Ocean. 
Enough for the present that upon the authority of 
eminent physiographic geologists we have shown : 

1. That the present distribution of land and water 
within the Arctic Circle is, geologically speaking, of 
very recent origin. 

2. That the paleozoic data of the highest explored 
latitudes demand for their explanation the hypothe 
sis of an extensive circumpolar continent in Mio 
cene time. 

3. That lithological authorities affirm that such a 
continent existed. 

4. That physical geography has reached the con 
clusion that the known islands of the Arctic Ocean, 
such as Novaia Zemlia and the Spitzbergen, are 
simply mountain tops still remaining above the sur 
face of the sea which has come in and covered up 
the primeval continent to which they belonged. 

5. And finally, that the problem of the process by 
which this grand catastrophe was brought about is 
now sporadically engaging the thoughts of terres 
trial physicists and geologists. 1 

1 See the very interesting paper " On _Ice-Age Theories," in Trans 
actions of the British Association, 1884, by K. Hill, M. A., F. G. S. 
ATscTm the same volume W. F. Stanley s criticism of the theory of 



Ver illud erat, ver magnus agebat Or bis. VERGIL. 

One of the most startling and important of the scientific discoveries of the last 
twenty years has been that of the relics of a luxuriant Miocene flora in various 
farts of the Arctic regions. It is a discovery which was totally unexpected, and 
is even now considered by many men of science to be completely unintelligible, but 
it is so thoroughly established, and it has such an important bearing on the subjects 
we are discussing in the present volume , that it is necessary to lay a tolerably com 
plete outline of the facts before our readers. A. R. WALLACE (1880). 

THUS far, then, we have found theoretical geog- 
ony demanding a location at the Pole for the first 
country presenting conditions of Eden life ; we have 
found the requisite astronomical conditions to give 
it an abundance of light ; we have found the geolo 
gists attesting the former existence of such a coun 
try ; we must now interrogate Prehistoric Climatol 
ogy, and ascertain whether this lost land ever enjoyed 
a temperature which admits of the supposition that 
here was the primitive abode of man. The answer 
to our question comes, not from one, but from sev 
eral sources. 1 

1 We have no use here for mere fancy sketches, like the following, 
which appeared on the loth of May, 1884, in The Norwood Review 
and Crystal Palace Reporter (Eng.), and which looks very much like 
an unacknowledged loan from Captain Hall, of Arctic fame : " We 
do not admit that there is ice up to the Pole. No one has been 
nearer that point than 464 miles. Once inside the great ice-barrier, 
a new world breaks upon the explorer ; a climate first mild like that 
of England, and afterwards balmy as that of the Greek Isles, awaits 
the hardy adventurer who first beholds those wonderful shores. Won 
derful, indeed ; for he will be greeted by a branch of the human race 


First, geogony gives us an almost irresistible an 
tecedent probability. For if the earth from its ear 
liest consolidation has been steadily cooling, it is 
hardly possible to conceive of a method by which 
any region once too hot for human residence can 
have become at length too cold except by passing 
through all the intermediate stages of temperature, 
some of which must have been precisely adapted to 
human comfort. 

Again, paleontological botany shows that in Eu 
rope in Tertiary times this hypothetical cooling of 
the earth was going on, and going on in the steady 
and regular way postulated by theoretic geogony. 1 
But if a telluric process as essentially universal as 
this was going on in Europe, there is no reason why 
it should not have been going on in all countries, 
whether to the north, or to the south, or to the east, 
or to the west of Europe. 

But we are not left to inferences of this sort. It 
is now admitted by all scientific authorities that at 
one time the regions within the Arctic Circle en 
joyed a tropical or nearly tropical climate. Profes- 

cut off from the rest of humanity by that change of climate which 
came over Northern Europe about 2,000 years ago, but surrounded 
by a profusion of life bewildering in the extreme." 

Speculations or fancies of this sort have ever clustered about this 
mysterious region of the Pole. As we shall hereafter see, they 
abounded in remote antiquity. Even the singular fancy known to the 
public as " Symmes Hole " antedates Symmes, and may be found in 
much more attractive form in Klopstock s Messiah. (K. s Sammtliche 
Werke. Leipsic, 1854: vol. i., pp. 24, 25.) 

1 " L etude des flores nous demontre que le climat de 1 Europe, 
pendant les temps tertiaires, est toujours alle en se refroidissant (Tune 
mantire continue et regulttre" Le Prehistorique. Antiquite de 
VHomme. Par Gabriel de Mortillet, Professeur d anthropologie 
prehistorique a l cole d Anthropologie de Paris. Paris, 1883 : p. 


sor Nicholson uses the following language : " In the 
early Tertiary period the climate of the northern 
hemisphere, as shown by the Eocene animals and 
plants, was very much hotter than it is at present ; 
partaking, indeed, of a sub-tropical character. In the 
Middle Tertiary or Miocene period the temperature, 
though not high, was still much warmer than that 
now enjoyed by the northern hemisphere ; and we 
know that the plants of the temperate regions at 
that time flourished within the Arctic Circle." l 

Mr. Grant Allen says, "One thing at least is 
certain, that till a very recent period, geologically 
speaking, our earth enjoyed a warm and genial cli 
mate up to the actual poles themselves, and that 
all its vegetation was everywhere evergreen, of 
much the same type as that which now prevails in 
the modern tropics." 2 

Alluding to those distant ages, M. le Marquis de 
Nadaillac remarks : " Under these conditions, life 
spread freely even to the Pole." 3 Similar is the 
language of Croll : " The Arctic regions, probably 
up to the North Pole, were not only free from ice, 
but were covered with a rich and luxuriant vegeta 
tion." 4 Keerl holds that at the very Pole it was 
then warmer than now at the equator. 5 Professor 
Oswald Heer s calculations would possibly modify 
Keerl s estimate to a slight degree, but only enough 
to make the circumpolar climate of that far-off age a 

1 The Life- History of the Globe, p. 335. 

2 Kncnvledge. London, Nov. 30, 1883 : p. 327. 

3 Les Premiers Hommes et les Temps Prehistoriques. Paris, 1881 : 
torn, ii., p. 391. 

4 Climate and Time. Am. ed., 1875 : P- 7- 

5 Die Schb pfungsgeschichte und Lehre vom Paradies. Basel, 1861 : 
Abth. I., p. 634. 


little more Edenic than is that of the hottest por 
tions of our present earth. 1 

Sir Charles Lyell, who in the discussion of this 
subject is characteristically cautious and "uniformi- 
tarian," does not hesitate to say, " The result, then, 
of our examination, in this and in the preceding 
chapter, of the organic and inorganic evidence as to 
the state of the climate of former geological periods 
is in favor of the opinion that the heat was generally 
in excess of what it now is. In the greater part of 
the Miocene and preceding Eocene epochs the fauna 
and flora of Central Europe were sub-tropical, and a 
vegetation resembling that now seen in Northern 
Europe extended into the Arctic regions as far as 
they have yet been explored, and probably reached 
the Pole itself. In the Mesozoic ages the predomi 
nance of reptile life and the general character of the 
fossil types of that great class of vertebrata indicate 
a warm climate and an absence of frost between the 
4Oth parallel of latitude and the Pole, a large ichthy 
osaurus having been found in lat. 77 16 N." 2 

Averaging the above views and estimates of sci 
entific authorities, we have at the Pole, in the age of 
the first appearance of the human race, a tempera 
ture the most equable and delightful possible ; and 
with this we may well be content. 

1 Flora Fossilis Arctica. Zurich, 1868 : Bd. i., pp. 60-77. See also 
Alfred Russel Wallace, Island Life. London, 1880 : ch. ix., pp. 163- 
202. Well, therefore, sings a rollicking rhymster of the age, 

" When the sea rolled its fathomless billows 

Across the broad plains of Nebraska ; 
When around the North Pole grew bananas and willows, 
And mastodons fought with the great armadillos 
For the pine-apples grown in Alaska." 

2 Principles of Geology, eleventh ed., vol. i., p. 231. 



S) von dort aus d. h. aus diesem Bildungsherd fur die Pflanzen siid- 
Ucker Breiten im hohen Nor den hat eine strahlenfdrmige Verbreitung von 
Typen stattgehabt. PROFESSOR HEER. 

It is now an established conclusion that the great aggressive faunas and floras 
of the continents have originated in the North, some of them within the A relic 
Circle. PRINCIPAL DAWSON (1883). 

ALL traditions of the primeval Paradise require us 
to conceive of it as possessed of a tropical flora of 
the most beautiful and luxuriant sort, as adorned 
with " every tree that is pleasant to the sight, or 
good for food." Any theory, therefore, as to the site 
of Eden must of necessity present a locality where 
this condition could have been met. How is it with 
the hypothesis now under consideration ? 

To reply that a polar Eden is scientifically admis 
sible in this respect would be to state but a small 
part of the truth. So much might unhesitatingly be 
affirmed in view of the facts presented in the last 
chapter. Given in any country on the face of the 
globe a long-continued tropical climate, and a tropi 
cal vegetation may well be expected. Anything else 
would be so abnormal as to require explanation. 

But the study of Paleontological Botany has just 
conducted to a new and entirely unanticipated re 
sult. The best authorities in this science, both in 
Europe and America, have lately reached the conclu 
sion that all the floral types and forms revealed in the 


oldest fossils of the earth originated in the region of 
the North Pole, and thence spread first over the north 
ern and then over the southern hemisphere, proceeding 
from North to South. This is a conception of the 
origin and development of the vegetable world which 
but a few years ago no scientific man had dreamed 
of, and which, to many intelligent readers of these 
pages, will be entirely new. Its profound interest, 
as related to the present discussion, will at once be 

Without attempting a chronological history of this 
remarkable discovery, or in any wise assuming to as 
sign to each pioneer student his share of the credit, 
we may say that Professor Asa Gray, of America, 
Professor Oswald Heer, of Switzerland, Sir Joseph 
Hooker, of England, Otto Kuntze, of Germany, and 
Count G. de Saporta, of France, have all been more 
or less prominently associated with the establish 
ment of the new doctrine. Sir Joseph Hooker s 
studies of the floral types of Tasmania furnished 
data, before lacking, for a general trans-latitudinal 
survey of the whole field. He was struck by the fact 
that in that far-off Southern world "the Scandinavian 
type asserts his prerogative of ubiquity." Though 
at that time he seems not to have divined its sig 
nificance, he clearly saw the paleontological and 
other vestiges of the great movement by which the 
far North has slowly clothed the north-temperate, 
the equatorial, and the southern regions with ver 
dure. In one passage he describes the impression 
made upon him by the facts in the following graphic 
language : " When I take a comprehensive view of 
the vegetation of the Old World, I am struck with 
the appearance it presents of there having been a 


continuous current of vegetation, if I may so fan 
cifully express myself, from Scandinavia to Tasma 
nia." J 

Light on this problem of the far South was 
soon to come from the far North. In 1868 Profes 
sor Oswald Heer, of Zurich, published his truly 
epoch-making work on the fossil flora of the Arctic 
regions, in which he modestly yet with much con 
fidence advanced the idea that the Bildungsherd, or 
mother-region, of all the floral types of the more 
southern latitudes was originally in " a great con 
tinuous Miocene continent within the Arctic Cn% 
cle," and that from this centre the southward spread 
or dispersion of these types had been in a radial or 
out-raying manner. 2 His demonstration of the ex 
istence in Miocene times of a warm climate and of 
a rich tropical vegetation in the highest attainable 
Arctic latitudes was complete and overwhelming. 
Our latest geologists are still accustomed to speak 
of his result as " one of the most remarkable geo 
logical discoveries of modern times." 3 His theory 
of a primeval circumpolar mother-region whence all 
floral types proceeded is also at present so little 
questioned that to-day among representative schol 
ars in this field the absorbing and only question 
seems to be, Who first proposed and to whom be 
longs the chief honor of the verification of so broad 
and beautiful a generalization ? 4 

1 7^he Flora of Australia. London, 1859: p. 103. On the remark 
able qualifications of Dr. Hooker to speak on this subject, see Sir 
Charles Lyell, The Antiqtiity of Man, pp. 417, 418. 

2 Flora Arctica Fossilis : Die fossile Flora der Polarldnder. Zurich, 
1868 : I. Vorwort, pp. iii., iv., and elsewhere. 

8 Archibald Geikie, LL. D., F. R. S., Textbook of Geology. Lon 
don, 1882 : p. 868. 
4 Some twenty-five years ago, in a paper on " The Botany of Japan " 


Here, then, is a new and wonderful light just 
thrown upon the problem of the site of Eden. The 
ology in some of its representatives had anticipated 
the geologists in teaching that the earth s vestment 
of vegetation originally proceeded from one primeval 
centre, but it is the glory of paleontology to have 
located that centre and to have given us an evidence 
scientifically valid. Wherever man originated, the 
biologist and botanist now know where was the cra 
dle of some of the world s tenants. Whatever the 
direction of the first human migrations, we are now 
clear as to the direction of that " great invasion of 

{Memoirs of the American Academy of Science, 1857, vol. vi., pp. 377- 
458), Professor Asa Gray suggested the possibility of the common 
origination in high northern latitudes of various related species now 
widely separated in different portions of the north-temperate zone. 
In 1872, four years after the publication of Heer s work, in treating 
of " The Sequoia and its History," in an address (see Joiirnal of the 
Am. Ass. for the Advancement of Science, 1872), he renewed in a 
clearer and stronger manner his advocacy of the idea. In the same 
year, and also in 1876, Count Saporta, with due acknowledgment of 
the work of Professor Heer, gave currency to the theory in the scien 
tific circles of France. Alluding to this, the Count has recently writ 
ten, " Asa Gray was not the only botanist who had the idea of ex 
plaining the presence of disjoined species and genera dispersed across 
the boreal temperate zone and the two continents, by means of 
emigrations from the pole as the mother-region whence these vege 
table races had radiated in one or several directions. This had been 
parallelement conceived and developed in France upon the occasion 
of the remarkable works of Professor O. Heer." Am. Journal of 
Science, May, 1883, p. 394. The annotation appended to this by Pro 
fessor Gray may be seen on the same page. For a German acknowl 
edgment see Engler, Entwickelungsgeschichte der Pflanzenwelt, Th. i., 
S. 23 ; for an English, see Nature, London, 1881, p. 446 ; for an 
American, J. W. Dawson, " The Genesis and Migration of Plants," 
in The Princeton Review, 1879, p. 277. But Dr. Dawson, referring to 
Saporta s Ancienne Vegetation Polaire, Hooker s Presidential Address 
of 1878, Thistleton Dyer s Lecture on Plant Distribution, and J. 
Starkie Gardner s Letters in Nature, 1878, well remarks that "the 
basis of most of these brochures is to be found in Heer s Flora Fos- 
silis Arctica" 


Arctic plants and animals which in the beginning 
of Quaternary ages came southward into Europe." 1 

But it may be that the testimony of Paleontologi- 
cal Botany is not yet exhausted. What if it should 
at length appear that along with the plants prehis 
toric men and civilized men at that must have 
descended from the mother-region of plants to the 
place where history finds them ? Without any refer 
ence to or apparent recognition of the great anthro 
pological interest of such a question, at least one 
botanist of Germany, reasoning from botanical facts 
and postulates alone, has reached precisely this con 

This savant is Professor Otto Kuntze, who has 
made special studies of the cultivated tropical plants. 
What other botanists had found true of the wild 
flora in continents separated by wide oceans he 
finds true of domesticated plants. But the problem 
of the spread of these plants from continent to con- 

1 Geikie, Textbook of Geology, p. 874. Compare Wallace : " We 
have now only to notice the singular want of reciprocity in the migra 
tions of northern and southern types of vegetation. In return for the 
vast number of European plants which have reached Australia, not 
one single Australian plant has entered any part of the north temper 
ate zone, and the same may be said of the typical southern vegeta 
tion in general, whether developed in the Antarctic lands, New Zea 
land, South America, or South Africa." Island-Life. London, 1880 : 
p. 486. In like manner Sir Joseph Hooker affirms : " Geographically 
speaking, there is no Antarctic flora except a few lichens and sea 
weeds." Nature, 1881: p. 447. Possibly, however, the progress of 
research may bring to light evidences of a second and less powerful 
polar Bildiingsherd of primitive flora forms in the Antarctic region. 
Some of the discoveries of F. P. Moreno look in that direction. See 
" Patagonia, resto de un antiguo continente hoy sumerjido" Anales 
de la societad cientifica Argentina. T. xiv., Entregua III., p. 97. Also, 
"Lafaune eocene de la Patagonie australe et le grande continent an- 
tarctique" Par M. E. L. Trouessart. Revue Scientifique, Paris, xxxii., 
pp. 588 ss. (Nov. 10. 1883). Also Samuel Haughton in last lecture 
of Physical Geography. Dublin, 1880. 


tinent raises peculiar and most interesting questions. 
Taking the banana-plantain, which was cultivated in 
America before the arrival of Europeans in 1492, 
Professor Kuntze asks, " In what way was this plant, 
which cannot stand a voyage through the temperate 
zone, carried to America ? " The difficulty is that 
the banana is seedless, and can be propagated in a 
new country only by carrying thither a living root 
and planting it in a suitable soil. Its very seedless- 
ness is evidence of the enormous length of time that 
it has been cared for by man. As the Professor 
says, "A cultivated plant which does not possess 
seeds must have been under culture for a very long 
period, we have not in Europe a single exclusively 
seedless, berry-bearing cultivated plant, and hence 
it is perhaps fair to infer that these plants were cul 
tivated as early as the middle of the diluvial period." 
But now as to its transportation from the Old World 
to the New, or vice versa. " It must be remem 
bered," he says, "that the plantain is a tree-like, 
herbaceous plant, possessing no easily transportable 
bulbs, like the potato or the dahlia, nor propagable 
by cuttings, like the willow or the poplar. It has 
only a perennial root, which, once planted, needs 
hardly any care." After discussing the subject in 
all aspects, he reaches the twofold conclusion, first, 
that civilized man must have brought the roots of 
the plant into any new regions into which it has 
ever come ; and secondly, that its appearance in 
America can only be accounted for on the supposi 
tion that it was carried thither by way of the north- 
polar countries at a time when a tropical climate 
prevailed at the North Pole. 1 

1 Pflanzen als Beweis der Einwanderung der Amerikaner aus Asien 
in praglazialer Zeit. Published in Ausland, 1878, pp. 197, 198. 



All the evidence at our command points to the Northern hemisphere as the 
birth-place of the class, Mammalia^ and probably of all the orders. ALFRED 

C est a des emigrations venues, sinon du pole, du mains des contrees atte- 
nantes au cercle polaire, qu il faut attribuer la presence constat ee dans les deux 
mondes de beaucoup d animaux propres a P hemisphere boreal. COUNT SA- 


BUT in settling the site of Eden the animal king 
dom must also have a voice. According to the 
Hebrew story, the representatives of this kingdom 
were an earlier creation than Adam, and in Eden 
was the world-fest of their christening. Evidently 
the lost cradle of humanity must be fixed in time 
posterior to the beginnings of animal life, and in 
space so located that from that spot as a centre all 
the multitudinous species, and genera, and orders, 
and families of the whole animal creation might 
have radiated forth to the various habitats in which 
they are respectively found. 

Now it is one of the striking facts connected with 
Zoology that if we pass around the globe on any iso 
thermal line, at the equator, or in any latitude 
south of it, or in any latitude north of it, until 
we come to the confines of the Arctic zone, we find, 
as we pass from land to land, that the animals we 
encounter are specifically unlike. Everywhere we 
find, along with like climatic and telluric conditions, 
different animals. The moment, however, we reach 


the Arctic zone, and there make the circuit of the 
globe, we are everywhere surrounded by the same 

On the other hand, if we take great circles of the 
earth s longitude, and pass from the Arctic region 
down along the continental masses of the New 
World to the South Pole, thence returning up a 
meridian which crosses Africa and Europe, or Aus 
tralia and Asia, we shall find in the descent abun 
dant fossil evidence that we are moving forward on 
the pathway along which the prehistoric migrations 
of the animal world proceeded ; while on our return 
on the other side of the planet we shall find that we 
are no longer following in the track of ancient mi 
grations, but are advancing counter to their obvious 
movement. All this is as true of the flora of the 
world as it is of the fauna. Hence the language of 
the late Professor Orton : " Only around the shores 
of the Arctic Sea are the same animals and plants 
found through every meridian, and in passing 
southward along the three principal lines of land 
specific identities give way to mere identity of gen 
era ; these are replaced by family resemblances, and 
at last even the families become in a measure dis 
tinct, not only on the great continents, but also on 
the islands, till every little rock in the ocean has its 
peculiar inhabitants." l 

Another well-known naturalist says : " It should 
also be observed that in the beginning of things the 
continents were built up from North to South, such 
has been, at least, the history of the North and South 
American and the Europeo-Asiatic and the African 
continents ; and thus it would appear that north of 

1 Comparative Zoology. New York, 1876 : p. 384. 


the equator, at least, animals slowly migrated south 
ward, keeping pace as it were with the growth 
and southward extension of the grand land-masses 
which appeared above the sea in the Paleozoic ages. 
Hence, scanty as is the Arctic and Temperate region 
of the earth at the present time, in former ages 
these regions were as prolific in life as the tropics 
now are, the latter regions, now so vast, having 
through all the Tertiary and Quaternary ages been 
undisturbed by great geological revolutions, and 
meanwhile been colonized by emigrants driven down 
by the incoming cold of the glacial period." 1 

As long ago as 1876 Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace 
wrote, " All the chief types of animal life appear 
to have originated in the great north temperate or 
northern continents, while the southern continents 
have been more or less completely isolated during 
long periods, both from the northern continent and 
from each other." 2 And again, speaking of mam 
malia, he said, "All the evidence at our command 
points to the Northern Hemisphere as the birth 
place of the class, and probably of all the orders." 3 

From all the facts but one conclusion is possible, 
and that is that like as the Arctic Pole is the mother- 
region of all plants, so it is the mother-region of all 
animals, the region where, in the beginning, God 
created every beast of the earth after his kind, and 

1 A. S. Packard, Zoology. New York, 2d ed., 1880 : p. 665. In his 
Elements of Geology, New York, 1877, p. 159, Le Conte gives a graph 
ical representation of the polocentric zones of the earth s flora and 
fauna (Fig. 131), which ought to have suggested the true genetic con 
nection of the whole. 

2 The Geographical Distribution of Animals. New York ed., vol. i. f 

P- 173- 

8 Ibid., vol. ii., p. 544. 


cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth 
on the earth after his kind. And this is the con 
clusion now being reached and announced by all 
comparative zoologists who busy themselves with 
the problem of the origin and prehistoric distribu 
tion of the animal world. But to believe that Pro 
fessor Heer s " Miocene Arctic Continent " was the 
cradle of all floral types and the cradle of all faunal 
forms, and yet deny that it was also the cradle of 
the human race, is what few philosophical minds are 
likely long to do. 



Quittons done pour un instant les jar dins d Armide, et, nouveaux Argonautes^ 
parcourons les r egions hyperborees ; cherchons-y, arm es de patience et surtout de 
scepticism, Vorigine de la plupart des nations et des langues tnodernes, celle meme 
des habitans de VAttique, et des autres peuples de la Grece, objets de noire savante 
idolatrie. CHARLES POUGENS (A. D. 1799). 

Telle est la theorie qui s^accord le mieux a-vec la ntarche pr esumle des races 
humaines. COUNT SAPORTA (A. D. 1883). 

MAN is the one traveler who has certainly been in 
the cradle of the human race. He has come from 
the land we are seeking. Could we but follow back 
the trail of his journeyings it would assuredly take 
us to the garden of pleasantness from which we are 
exiled. Unfortunately the traveler has lost whole 
volumes of his itinerary, and what remains is in 
many of its passages not easy of decipherment. 

What says anthropologic and ethnic Paleontology 
or what some French writers are beginning to 
call Paleoethnique Science respecting the hypoth 
esis of a Polar Eden ? 

At the time when the present writer began his 
university lectures on this subject the teachings of 
professed anthropologists were in the chaotic and 
contradictory condition indicated in Part First. One 
of the strongest proofs he could then find that a 
new light was about to dawn on this field was in 
the there cited work of Quatrefages, entitled "The 



Human Species." l Accordingly, in discussing the 
probable verdict of this science upon the admissi- 
bility of the new theory of human distribution, the 
lecturer presented the following paragraph, and 
there rested the case : 

" Anthropology as represented by Quatrefages 
seems to be actually feeling its way to the same hy 
pothesis. This writer first argues that in the pres 
ent state of knowledge we should be led to place the 
cradle of the race in the great region bounded on 
the south and southwest by the Himalayas, on the 
west by the Bolor mountains, on the northwest by 
the Ala-Tau, on the north by the Altai range and 
its offshoots, and on the east by the Kingkhan, on 
the south and southeast by the Felina and Kwen-lun. 
Later on, however, he says that paleontological stud 
ies have very recently led to results which are ca 
pable of modifying these primary conclusions. And 
after briefly stating these results, he starts the ques 
tion whether or no the first centre of human appear 
ance may not have been considerably to the north 
of the region just mentioned, even in polar Asia! 
Without deciding, he adds, Perhaps prehistoric 
archeology or paleontology will some day confirm or 
confute this conjecture. " 

The cautious anticipation here expressed was 
quickly fulfilled. At the concluding lecture of the 
same first course it was possible to present the fol 
lowing as the ripe conclusion of a fellow country 
man of Quatrefages, one of the foremost savants of 

1 New York edition, pp. 175, 177, 178. See M. Zaborowski s sup 
port of Quatrefages conjecture in the Revue Scientifigue, Paris, 1883, 
p. 496. 


Europe, Count Saporta : l " We are inclined to re 
move to the circumpolar regions of the North the 
probable cradle of primitive humanity. From there 
only could it have radiated as from a centre to 
spread into the several continents at once, and to 
give rise to successive emigrations toward the South. 
This theory best agrees ivith the presumed march of 
the human races." 2 

1 The following note appeared in the Boston Daily Advertiser of 
May 25, 1883: 


A few years ago, about the time of the appearance of the first edi 
tion of Dr. WincheU s Preadamites, in a letter addressed to its 
learned author, I expressed my belief that the Garden of Eden, the 
first abode of man, was to be sought in a now submerged country, sit 
uate at the North Pole. More than a year ago, in a printed essay 
on Ancient Cosmology, I made the statement that " all ethnic tra 
ditions point us thither for the cradle of the race." Early last Jan 
uary I began a course of lectures in the post-graduate department 
of the university, setting forth my view and the astonishing mass of 
cosmological, historic, mythologic, paleontologic, paleoethnic, and 
other evidences which conspire to its support. Last Monday after 
noon, about twenty minutes before I was to give the concluding lecture 
of the course, I opened the fresh-cut leaves of the Revtte des Deux 
Mondes, the number for the first of this month. In it my eye quickly fell 
upon Un Essai de Synthese Paleoethnique, in which M. le Marquis G. 
de Saporta sums up and sets forth the latest results of paleontological 
research, so far as they bear upon ethnology. Judge of my gratifica 
tion to find some twenty pages devoted to the question of the cradle 
of the human race in the light of the latest science, and to read as the 
conclusion of this learned savant that this cradle must have been 
" within the Arctic Circle." 

As Count Saporta has lately shown a little anxiety that American 
scholarship should not receive too exclusive credit for first proposing 
a closely related doctrine which he holds in common with our Pro 
fessor Gray, and with Switzerland s Professor Heer (see American 
Journal of Science, May, 1883, p. 396, footnote), he will doubtless 
pardon the public statement of this, tome, most interesting coinci 

Boston, May 24, 1883. 

2 See APPENDIX, Sect. II. : " How the Earth was Peopled." 


In the foregoing we have more than a demonstra 
tion of the bare admissibility of our hypothesis. We 
have in it the latest word of anthropological science 
respecting the birth-place of the human race. To 
make it a complete confirmation of our theory, so 
far as this field of knowledge is concerned, but one 
thing is lacking, and that is a clearer recognition of 
the great natural revolution or catastrophe which 
destroyed man s primitive home and occasioned the 
world-wide post-diluvian dispersion. This lack, how- 
ever, is abundantly supplied by the foremost Ger 
man ethnographers, and even by such as represent 
the most radical Darwinian views. Thus Professor 
Friedrich M tiller, of Vienna, and Dr. Moritz Wagner, 
both of whom place the probable cradle of the race 
in some high latitude in Europe or Asia, lay the ut 
most stress upon the mighty climatic revolution 
which came in with the glacial age, ascribing to it 
the most stupendous and transforming influences 
that have ever affected mankind. 1 In our view the 
deterioration of natural environment reduced the 

1 " Es muss dort, wo der Mensch aus dem Zustand, den er mit den 
Thieren gemeinsam hat, sich entwickelte, ein gewaltiger Wechsel der 
Naturkrafte und seiner Umgebung stattgefunden haben. Nichts ist 
natiirlicher als an die Eiszeit des Endes der Pleiocanen und der Di- 
luvial-Periode, welche durch eine Reihe schlagender geologischer 
Thatsachen fur das nordliche Europa, Asien und America bestatigt 
wird, zu denken. Damals, wo das Paradies des in der Befriedigung 
leiblicher Bediirfnisse einzig und allein dahinlebenden, unschuldigen, 
Gutes und Boses noch nicht unterscheidenden- Menschen mit eisiger 
Hand zertrlimmert wurde, damals fing der Mensch den eigentlichen 
Kampf urns Dasein an, und stieg durch Anspannung aller seiner 
Krafte zum Herrn der Natur empor." As the tree no more bore 
fruit the " climber " was forced to " become a runner ; " this differen 
tiated the foot from the hand, modified the leg, and in time changed 
the pithecoid ancestors of humanity into men. Friedrich Miiller, 
Allgemeine Ethnographic. Wien, 1873 : P- 3^- 


vigor and longevity of the race ; in theirs it changed 
one of the tribes of the animal world into men ! 
Which of these views is the more rational may safely 
be left to the reader s judgment. Few will be dis 
posed to accept the doctrine that man is simply a 
judiciously-iced pithecoid. 



We must now be prepared to admit that God can plant an Eden even in Spitz- 
bergen ; that the present state of the -world is by no means the best possible in re 
lation to climate and vegetation ; that there have been and might be again condi 
tions -which could convert the ice-clad Arctic regions into blooming Paradises. 

WE are at the end of the first series of tests, and 
with what results ? 

1. Scientific Cosmology, searching for the place 
where the physical conditions of Eden-life first ap 
peared on our globe, is brought to the very spot 
where we have located the cradle of our race. 

2. Contrary to all ordinary impressions, we have 
found this same spot the most favored on the globe, 
not only as respects the glories of night, but also in 
respect to prevalence of daylight. 

3. In its geology we have found scientific evidence 
of the vast cataclysm which destroyed the antedilu 
vian world and permanently transferred to lower 
latitudes the habitat of humanity. 

4. We have found scientifically accepted evidence 
that at the time of the advent of man the climate 
at the Arctic Pole was all that the most poetic leg 
ends of Eden could demand. 

5. From Paleontological Botany we have learned 
that this locality was the cradle of the floral life- 
forms of the whole known earth. 

6. By Paleontological Zoology we have been as- 


sured that here too originated, and from this centre 
eradiated, the fauna of the prehistoric world. 

7. And lastly, we have found the latest ethnog 
raphers and anthropologists slowly but surely grav 
itating toward the same Arctic Eden as the only 
centre from which the migrations of the human race 
can be intelligibly interpreted. 

We asked of these sciences simply, " Is our hy 
pothesis admissible ? " Their answer is more than an 
affirmative ; it is an unanticipated and pronounced 

Some months after the foregoing chapters had 
been written and delivered in lectures before classes 
of students in the University, a very interesting re 
inforcement of the views therein advanced appeared 
in a little work by Mr. G. Hilton Scribner, of New 
York, entitled Where did Life Begin ? " l As Mr. 
Scribner was conducted to a belief in the north polar 
origin of all races of living creatures by considera 
tions quite independent of those mythological and 
historical ones which first led the present writer to 
the same opinion, the reader of these pages will find 
in the following extracts a special incentive to pro 
cure and read the entire treatise from which they 
are taken. That two minds starting with such en 
tirely different data should have reached so nearly 
simultaneously one and the same conclusion touch 
ing so difficult and many-sided a problem is surely 
not without significance. 

1 Published by Charles Scribner s Sons, New York. I2mo, pp.64. 
Ex-Chancellor Winchell (anonymously) reviews the work with much 
respect in Science, March 7, 1884, p. 292. For courteous permission 
to quote from the treatise without restriction I publicly return the 
author my thanks. 


Our first extract is from pp. 21-23, where the fol 
lowing summary of previous reasonings and conclu 
sions is given : " We may therefore safely conclude, 
if the code of natural laws has been uniformly in 

First, That life commenced on those parts of 
the earth which were first prepared to maintain it ; 
at any rate, that it never could have commenced 

" Second, As the whole earth was at one time 
too hot to maintain life, so those parts were prob 
ably first prepared to maintain it which cooled first. 

"Third, That those parts which received the 
least heat from the sun, and which radiated heat 
most rapidly into space, in proportion to mass, and 
had the thinnest mass to cool, cooled first. 

" Fourth, That those parts of the earth s sur 
face, and those only, answering to these conditions 
are the Arctic and Antarctic zones. 

" Fifth, That as these zones were at one time 
too hot, and certain parts thereof are now too cold, 
for such life as inhabits the warmer parts of the 
earth, these now colder parts, in passing from the 
extreme of heat to the extreme of cold, must have 
passed slowly through temperatures exactly suited 
to all plants and all animals in severalty which now 
live or ever lived on the earth. 

" Sixth, If the concurrent conditions which 
have usually followed lowering temperature followed 
the climatic changes in this case, life did commence 
on the earth within one or both of certain zones sur 
rounding the poles, and sufficiently removed there 
from to receive the least amount of sunlight neces 
sary for vegetal and animal life. 


" It seems almost superfluous to say that those 
parts of the earth which first became cool enough 
to maintain life had a climate warmer at that time 
than that which we now call torrid. It was for an 
epoch, and probably a very long one, as hot as it 
could be and maintain life. 

" It is also quite obvious, in the light of the fore 
going considerations, that as the temperate zones 
have always received more heat from the sun, and 
have had more mass per square foot to cool, in pro 
portion to radiating surface, than the polar zones, 
so, on the other hand, they have always received 
less heat from the sun and have had less mass to 
cool, in proportion to radiating surface, than the 
torrid zone ; and so when the arctic zones cooled 
from a tropical to what we now call a temperate cli 
mate, the temperate zones had cooled down to that 
temperature which we now call a torrid climate, 
while the equatorial belt was still too hot for any 
form of life. Thus the lowering of temperature, 
climatic change, and that life which made its advent 
in these zones surrounding the poles have crept 
thence slowly along, pari passu, from these polar 
regions to the equator." 

Farther on (pp. 26, 27) he claims that the progres 
sive cooling of the region at the Pole is all-sufficient, 
as a natural cause, to account for that dispersion of 
life, vegetable and animal, which proceeded from the 
Arctic centre southward : " As might be readily sup 
posed, these Arctic regions which first became cool 
enough to maintain life would from the same causes 
be the first to become too cold for the same pur 
pose. And this cold would occur first as a temper 
ate climate near and around the pole ; at any rate, 


in the centre of a zone just sufficiently removed 
from the pole to combine the influence of the sun 
with its own cooling temperature, so as to become 
the first fit habitation of life. 

" This central cold creating a temperate climate 
would thus have become the first and all-sufficient 
cause of a dispersion and distribution of both the 
tropical plants and animals over another zone next 
south, next further removed from the pole, and next 
sufficiently cool to maintain such life. Moreover, 
this cooler climate occurring in the centre would 
have driven out and dispersed such life equally, in 
all possible directions. So, if the first habitable zone 
included the northernmost land of all the great con 
tinents which converge around the North Pole, this 
dispersion from an increasing cold to the north of 
each of them would have sent southward plants and 
animals from a common origin and ancestry, to peo 
ple and to plant all the continents of the earth, with 
the possible exception of Australia, whose flora and 
fauna are certainly anomalous and possibly indige 

In section fourth (pp. 28-34) the author briefly 
touches upon some of the surface features of the 
globe peculiarly favorable to the southward migra 
tion of plants and animals : " Let us now see how 
admirably the earth is adapted, by its surface forma 
tion and topography, for a southern migration from 
a zone surrounding the North Pole. In the first 
place, nearly the whole of the earth s surface (and 
all the northern hemisphere) is corrugated north and 
south with alternate continents and deep sea chan 
nels almost from pole to pole. Both the eastern and 
western continents extend with unbroken land con- 


nections from the Arctic zone through the northern 
temperate, the torrid, and through the southern 
temperate, almost to the Antarctic zone. Between 
these great continents lie the deep oceans, whose 
channels run north and south through as many de 
grees of latitude. The great air and ocean currents 
run north or south ; all the mountain ranges of the 
western continent and many of the eastern conti 
nents run mainly north and south. Nearly all the 
great rivers of the northern hemisphere run north 
or south. To a southern migration in other 
words, a migration from the Arctic region toward 
the equator these peculiarities of topography, these 
great corrugations and mountain ranges, these chan 
nels and currents, are roads and vehicles, guides and 
helps ; while to an east and west migration the same 
features are not only obstacles and hindrances, but 
in the main barriers insuperable. 

" The impassability of mountain ranges for most 
plants is shown by the fact that strongly marked 
varieties in great numbers and many distinct spe 
cies occur upon the eastern slopes of the Rocky 
Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas, the Alleghanies, and 
even lower ranges, which are not found at all upon 
their western sides, and vice versa. Such a condi 
tion of things, incompatible as it is with an eastern 
and western migration, is quite consistent, however, 
with a north and south movement. For all the cli 
matic conditions, especially that of rainfall, are so 
different on the opposite sides of all long mountain 
ranges that the same variety, split and separated by 
the northern extremities of these ranges, would, in 
moving southward along their eastern and western 
sides, and encountering such diverse conditions, 


have become in the course of time, under the laws 
of adaptation, distinct varieties, and probably differ 
ent species. 

" It may be well now to examine some of the 
conditions assisting this movement. Hot air being 
lighter than cold, the heated air of the northern 
equatorial belt has always risen and passed mainly 
toward the North Pole in an upper current, while the 
cooler and heavier currents from the north have 
swept southward, hugging the surface of the conti 
nents, laded with pollen, minute germs and spores, 
and all the winged seeds of plants, bending grass 
and shrubs and trees constantly to the southward, 
and so, by small yearly increments, moving the whole 
vegetal kingdom through valleys and along the sides 
of mountain ranges, down the great continents, al 
ways moving with, and never across, these great sur 
face corrugations. It is unnecessary to add that all 
insects and herbivorous animals would follow the 
plants, or that the birds and carnivorous animals 
would follow the herbivorous animals and the in 
sects. So, too, the currents of the ocean have been 
established in obedience to similar laws : as hot 
water is lighter than cold, great surface currents 
have been formed in both the Atlantic and Pacific 
oceans, flowing from the equator to the Arctic re 
gions ; while the cooler and heavier currents from 
the Arctic have swept the floor of both oceans from 
shore to shore to the southward, carrying all kinds 
of marine life from the pole toward the equator with 

" It may be well in this connection to allude to an 
other fact seriously affecting the bottom currents 
from the pole toward the equator of both air and 


ocean. By reason of the revolution of the earth 
upon its axis, a given point upon its surface 1,000 
miles south of the North Pole moves to the eastward 
at the rate of about 260 miles an hour, while another 
point in the same meridian at the equator would be 
moving to the eastward a little more than 1,000 
miles an hour ; so every cubic yard of air and water 
which starts in a bottom current from the polar re 
gions for the equator must, before reaching the 
equator, acquire an eastward motion of about 750 
miles an hour. The tendency, therefore, of all bot 
tom currents of air and ocean moving to the south 
is to press to the westward every obstacle met with 
in its course, and the result, both as to the currents 
and all movable things they come in contact with, 
would be to give them a southwestern course and 

" Now it is a strange coincidence, if nothing more, 
that the eastern coasts of all the continents have a 
southwestern trend, are full of bays, inlets, and shoal 
water, as though the floor of the ocean was being 
constantly swept up against them ; while the west 
ern coasts are more abrupt, straight, and touch 
deeper water, as though the sweepings from the land 
were being constantly rolled into the sea along their 
entire lines. 

" Notwithstanding all these indications of a 
southern or southwestern movement, ever since the 
migration of plants and animals first attracted at 
tention, students of natural science, careful and con 
scientious observers, able and discriminating inves 
tigators, have, almost with one accord, been looking 
east and west across these great north and south 
corrugations and natural barriers for the paths of 


their journeyings ; searching along every parallel of 
latitude, across lofty mountain ranges, broad con 
tinents, deep and wide oceans, and ocean currents, 
to and fro ; and if perchance they looked north or 
south it was only in search of some ferry or ford 
south of the ice-fields by which to pass the flora and 
fauna from one continent to another, and thus ac 
count for what is very evident, namely, that many 
widely distributed species and varieties have come 
from the same locality and had a common ancestry 
and origin. Is it not evident that the very plants 
and animals (in a tribal sense) whose migrations 
they have been engaged in unraveling were as 
much older than ice and snow on the earth as it 
would require in time to lower the average temper 
ature over a vast area from a tropical to a frigid cli 
mate ? " 

The portion of the little treatise least satisfactory, 
even to its author, is the part which relates to man 
(pp. 52-54). By making the human race the de 
scendants (or, as on Darwinist principles we ought 
rather to say, the ascendants) of one or more pairs 
of lower animals, and assuming that our animal an 
cestry had already been driven from the polar region 
before they were blessed with this unanticipated 
progeny, the author suggests a possible manner in 
which " the absence on the earth of our immediate 
predecessor," the missing link, might be accounted 
for. He says, " If it is true that, in common with 
many existing plants and animals, the ancestry of 
man some animal with a thumb, and so having 
the possibility of all things shared this northern 
home, this common and immensely remote origin, 
earlier by long epochs than the glacial period, it 


would afford a possible ground for the claim of the 
unity of the origin of man, and also a reason for the 
absence on earth of his immediate predecessor. His 
arboreal progenitor in the pioneer ranks of this 
great southern movement, ages before the Quater 
nary (during all of which period man has probably 
inhabited the earth), was possibly driven naked by 
the ever-following, merciless cold, thus keeping him 
within the southward-moving tropical climate, down 
the eastern and western continents alike, until it and 
he, arriving in the lapse of ages at the equatorial 
belt, and being always at the head and still rising in 
the scale of being by this movement, discipline, and 
process, became sufficiently advanced by slow de 
grees to build fires, clothe himself, make imple 
ments, and, possibly, domesticate animals, at least 
the first and most useful to primitive man, the dog, 
and so prepared for conflict and for all climates, 
turned backward to the verge of everlasting ice, 
subduing, slaying, and exterminating, first his own 
ancestry, his nearest but now weak rival, which by 
lingering behind and struggling for life in a climate 
of increasing cold, would have become extremely de 
generated and so easily disposed of, if not actually 
exterminated by the climate itself ; thus leaving as 
the nearest in resemblance to man, and yet the re 
motest in actual relationship both to him and to his 
ancestry, the later tribes of anthropoid apes since 
developed, nearer to the equator, from the next 
lower animals which accompanied him in his south 
ward march." 

In this speculation, it will be observed, the place 
of the origin of the human race is entirely indeter 
minate. When its far-off arboreal ancestor left the 


Pole his only prophetic endowment was "a thumb." 
But possessing this, he " had the possibility of all 
things." In his successors, ages afterward, the real 
transition from the plane of animal to that of human 
life seems to be represented as having taken place 
"at the equatorial belt." Unfortunately, however, 
for the theory, the claim of the new men to the 
virtue and name of humanity was now poorer than 
before the change, for their first act was to turn 
fiercely upon those who brought them into being, 
" subduing, slaying, and exterminating their own an 
cestry " in a frenzy worse than brutal. The shock 
to the feelings of the near but younger relatives of 
the massacred victims the mild-mannered apes 
must have been violent in the extreme. In fact, 
among all the tens of thousands of their descendants 
not one, from that day to this, has ever been seen to 

But in justice to our author it should be stated 
that he attaches little, if any, weight to this Darwin- 
istic episode. He frankly says, " This last proposi 
tion, however, is but a vague and very deductive 
supposition, for which nothing is claimed beyond a 
possibility or bare probability." It is possible that 
he is only slyly indulging in a bit of quiet pleasantry 
at the expense of the new-school anthropogonists. 
Whether so or not, he hastens without further words 
to return from it to the impregnable positions of his 
main argument, and to reinforce them by a fresh 
study of the power and function of heat in the cos 
mic unfoldment and distribution of life. 

The next two divisions of the present work will 
show us that the birth-memories of mankind con 
duct us, not to "the equatorial belt," but to the 


polar world, and that in Mr. Scribner s answer to 
the question, " Where did Life begin ? " human as 
well as floral and faunal life should be included. 
After examining these fresh lines of evidence it is 
believed that the reader will find more impressive 
than ever the words with which our author con 
cludes his charming tractate : 

" Thus the Arctic zone, which was earliest in cool 
ing down to the first and highest heat degree in the 
great life-gamut, was also first to become fertile, first 
to bear life, and first to send forth her progeny over 
the earth. So, too, in obedience to the universal 
order of things, she was first to reach maturity, first 
to pass all the subdivisions of life-bearing climate 
and finally the lowest heat degree in the great life- 
range, and so the first to reach sterility, old age, de 
generation, and death. And now, cold and lifeless, 
wrapped in her snowy winding sheet, the once fair 
mother of us all rests in the frozen embrace of an 
ice-bound and everlasting sepulchre." 





All these things happened in the North ; and afterward, when men were created, 
they were created in the North ; but as the people multiplied they moved toward 
the South, the Earth growing larger also, and extending itself in the same direction, 
H. H. BANCROFT, Native Races, vol. iii., p. 162. 

II y a done beaucoup d apparence que les peuples du Nord, en descendant vers le 
Midi, y portent les emblems relatifs au physique de leur climat ; et ces emblems sont 
devenus des fables, puis des personnages, puis des Dieux, dans des imaginations 
vives et pretes a tout animer, comme celles des Orientaux. JEAN SYLVAIN BAILLY. 



Not enough credit has been given to the ancient astronomers. For instance, 
there is no time within the scope of history when it was not known that the earth 
is a sphere, and that the direction DOWN at different points is toward the same 
point at the earth s centre. Current teaching in the text-books as to the knowl 
edge of astronomy by the ancients is at fault. 1 SIMON NEWCOMB, LL. D. 

Hie -vertex nobis semper sublimis, at ilium 
Sub pedibus Styx atra videt manesque profundi. 


BACK of every mythological account of Paradise 
lies some conception of the world at large, and es 
pecially of the world of men. Rightly to understand 
and interpret the myths, we must first understand 
the world-conception to which they were adjusted. 
Unfortunately, the cosmology of the ancients has 
been totally misconceived by modern scholars. All 
our maps of " The World according to Homer " rep 
resent the earth as flat, and as surrounded by a level, 
flowing ocean stream. "There can be no doubt," 
says Bunbury, " that Homer, in common with all his 
successors down to the time of Hecataeus, believed 
the earth to be a plane of circular form." 2 As to 
the sky, we are generally taught that the early 
Greeks believed it to be a solid metallic vault. 3 Pro- 

1 Lowell Lecture. Boston Daily Advertiser, Nov. 29, 1881. 

2 E. H. Bunbury, History of Ancient Geography among the Greeks 
and Romans, London, 1879: vol. i., p. 79. Professor Bunbury was 
a leading contributor to Smith s Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Ro 
man Geography. Compare Friedreich, Die Realien in der Ilias und 
Odysee. 1856, 19. Buchholz, Die Homerische Realien. Leipsic, 
1871 : Bd. i., 48. 

1 See Voss, Ukert, Bunbury, Buchholz, and the others. 


fessor F. A. Paley aids the imagination of his 
readers as follows : " We might familiarly illustrate 
the Hesiodic notion of the flat circular earth and the 
convex overarching sky by a circular plate with a 
hemispherical dish-cover of metal placed over it and 
concealing it. Above the cover (which is supposed 
to rotate on an axis, -n-oXos) live the gods. Round 
the inner concavity is the path of the sun, giving 
light to the earth below." l 

That all writers upon Greek mythology, including 
even the latest, 2 should proceed upon the same as 
sumptions as the professed Homeric interpreters 
and geographers building upon their foundations is 
only natural. And that the current conceptions of 
the cosmology of the ancient Greeks should pro 
foundly affect current interpretations of the cosmo- 
logical and geographical data of other ancient peo 
ples is also precisely what the history and inner 
relationships of modern archaeological studies would 
lead one to expect. It is not surprising, therefore, 
that the earth of the Ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, 
Indo-Aryans, and other ancient peoples has been 
assumed to correspond to the supposed flat earth of 
the Greeks. 3 

1 The Epics of Hesiod, with an English Commentary. London, 
1861 : p. 172. 

2 See, for example, Sir George W. Cox : An Introduction to the 
Science of Comparative Mythology and Folk-Lore. London and New 
York, 1881 : p. 244. Decharme, Mythologie de la Grece Antique. 
Paris, 1879: p. n. 

8 It is true that Heinrich Zimmer remarks, " Die Anschauung die 
sich bei Griechen und Nordgermanen findet, dass die Erde eine 
Scheibe sei, um die sich das Meer schlingt, begegnet in den vedischen 
Samhita nirgends." Altindisches Leben. Berlin, 1879: p. 359. But 
even he does not advance from this negative assertion to an exposition 
of the true Vedic cosmology. Compare M. Fontane : " Leur cosmog- 


A protracted study of the subject has convinced 
the present writer that this modern assumption, as 
to the form of the Homeric earth is entirely base 
less and misleading. He has, furthermore, satisfied 
himself that the Egyptians, Akkadians, Assyrians, 
Babylonians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Greeks, Irani 
ans, Indo-Aryans, Chinese, Japanese, in fine, all 
the most ancient historic peoples, possessed in 
their earliest traceable periods a cosmology essen 
tially identical, and one of a far more advanced type 
than has been attributed to them. The purpose of 
this chapter is to set forth and illustrate this oldest 
known conception of the universe and of its parts. 

In ancient thought, the grand divisions of the 
world are four, to wit : the abode of the gods, the 
abode of living men, the abode of the dead, and, 
finally, the abode of demons. To locate these in 
right mutual relations, one must begin by represent 
ing to himself the earth as a sphere or spheroid, 
and as situated within, and concentric with, the 
starry sphere, each having its axis perpendicular, and 
its north pole at the top. The pole-star is thus in the 
true zenith, and the heavenly heights centring about 
it are the abode of the supreme god or gods. Ac 
cording to the same conception, the upper or north 
ern hemisphere of the earth is the proper home of 
living men ; the under or southern hemisphere of 
the earth, the abode of disembodied spirits and rulers 
of the dead ; and, finally, the undermost region of 
all, that centring around the southern pole of the 

raphie est embryonaire. La terre est pour 1 Arya ronde et plate 
comme un disque. Le firmament vedique, concave, vien se souder a 
la terre, circulairement, a Phorizon." Inde Vedique, Paris, 1881 : p. 94. 
With this agrees Bergaine, La Religion Vedique. Paris, 1878 : p. I. 


heavens, the lowest hell. 1 The two hemispheres of 
the earth were furthermore conceived of as separated 
from each other by an equatorial ocean or oceanic 

To illustrate this conception of the world, let the 
two circles of the diagram which constitutes the 
frontispiece of this work represent respectively the 
earth-sphere and the outermost of the revolving 
starry spheres. A is the north pole of the heavens, 
so placed as to be in the zenith. B is the south pole 
of the heavens in the nadir. The line A B is the 
axis of the apparent revolution of the starry heavens 
in a perpendicular position. C is the north pole of 
the earth ; D its south pole ; the line C D the axis 
of the earth in perpendicular position, and coinci 
dent with the corresponding portion of the axis of 
the starry heavens. The space I I I I is the abode 
of the supreme god or gods ; 2, Europe ; 3, Asia ; 4, 
Libya, or the known portion of Africa ; 5 5 5, the 
ocean, or " ocean stream ; " 666, the abode of dis 
embodied spirits and rulers of the dead ; 7/77, 
the lowest hell. 2 

1 It is worthy of notice that the sight of portions of the south- 
polar heavens, especially the starless region known as " the black Coal 
Sack," is to this day capable of suggesting the associations of the 
bottomless pit. Thus in a recent traveler s letter of the ordinary kind 
we read, " Every clear evening we could see the Magellan Clouds, 
soft and fleece-like, floating airily among the far-off constellations. 
These mysterious bodies look like star-spray, or borrowed bits of the 
Milky Way. Then, too, our eyes would seek out, as by some strange 
fascination, those still more mysterious chambers of the South, the 
black Coal Sack, with its retreating depths of darkness, wherein no 
star shines. These irregular spaces, emptinesses, as it were, in the 
heavens, impress one with a sense of something uncanny, as though 
these were, indeed, the blackness of darkness forever? " The Sunday 
School Times. Philadelphia, 1883: p. 581. 

2 The reception accorded to the foregoing " True Key " is illus 
trated in the APPENDIX, Sect. III. 


Now, to make this key a graphic illustration of 
Homeric cosmology, it is only necessary to write in 
place of i I i i " LOFTY OLYMPOS ; " in place of 
555, " THE OCEAN STREAM;" in place of 666, 
" HOUSE OF AIDES " (Hades) ; and in place of 7 7 7 7, 
" GLOOMY TARTAROS." Imagine, then, the light as 
falling from the upper heavens, the lower terres 
trial hemisphere, therefore, as forever in the shade ; 
imagine the Tartarean abyss as filled with Stygian 
gloom and blackness, fit dungeon-house for de 
throned gods and powers of evil ; imagine the " men- 
illuminating" sun, the "well-tressed" moon, the 
"splendid" stars, silently wheeling round the central 
upright axis of the lighted hemispheres, and sud 
denly the confusions and supposed contradictions of 
classic cosmology disappear. We are in the very 
world in which immortal Homer lived and sang. 1 It 
is no longer an obscure crag in Thessaly, from which 
heaven-shaking Zeus proposes to suspend the whole 
earth and ocean. The eye measures for itself the 
nine days fall of Hesiod s brazen anvil from heaven 
to earth, from earth to Tartarus. The Hyperboreans 
are now a possibility. Now a descmsus ad inferos 
can be made by voyagers in the black ship. Un 
numbered commentators upon Homer have pro 
fessed their despair of ever being able to harmonize 
the passages in which Hades is represented as " be 
yond the ocean " with those in which it is repre 
sented as "subterranean." Conceive of man s dwell 
ing-place, of Hades, and the ocean, as in this key, 
and the notable difficulty instantaneously vanishes. 
Interpreters of the Odyssey have found it impos* 
sible to understand how the westward and north- 
1 See cut in APPENDIX, Sect. VI. : " Homer s Abode of the Dead." 


ward sailing voyager could suddenly be found in 
waters and amid islands unequivocally associated 
with the East. The present key explains it per 
fectly, showing what no one seems heretofore to 
have suspected, that the voyage of Odysseus is a 
poetical account of an imaginary circumnavigation 
of the mythical earth in the upper or northern hemi 
sphere, inc hiding a trip to the southern or under hemi 
sphere and a visit to the o/x,<aAo? OaXda-a-rj^ or North 

In this cosmological conception the upright axis 
of the world is often poetically conceived of as a 
majestic pillar, supporting the heavens and furnish 
ing the pivot on which they revolve. Euripides 1 and 
Aristotle 2 unmistakably identify the Pillar of Atlas 
with this world-axis. How interesting a feature this 
pillar became in ancient mythologies will be seen 
below in chapter third of this part, in chapter sec 
ond of part six, and elsewhere in this volume. 

Again, according to this view the highest part of 
the earth, its true summit, would of course be at the 
North Pole. And since the whole of the upper or 
northern hemisphere would in this case be con 
ceived of as rising on all sides from the equatorial 
ocean toward that summit, nothing would be more 
natural than to view the entire upper half of the earth 
as itself a vast mountain, the mother and support of 
all lesser mountains. 3 Moreover, as the abode of the 
supreme God or gods was thought to be directly 
over this summit of the earth, it would be extremely 
easy for the imagination to carry the summit of so 

1 Peirithous, 597, 3-5, ed. Nauck. 

2 De Anim. Motione, c. 3. 

8 See Bundahish) chaps, viii., xii., etc. 



stupendous a mountain into and far above the clouds, 

and even to extend it to such a height that the gods 

of heaven might be conceived of as having their 

abode upon its top. This is precisely what came to 

pass, and hence in the cosmology of the ancient Egyp 

tians, Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, 

Indians, Chinese, and others we find, under various 

names, but always easily recognizable, this Weltberg, 

or " Mountain of the World," situated at the North 

Pole of the earth, supporting or otherwise connect 

ing with the city of the 

gods, and serving as the axis 

around which sun, moon, 

and stars revolve. Often 

we also find evidence that 

the under hemisphere was 

in like manner conceived of 

as an inverted mountain, 

antipodal to the mountain 

of the gods, and connecting 

at its apex with the abode 

of demons. 1 The adjoin 

ing figure may illustrate this 

conception of the earth, 

the upper protuberance be 

ing the " Mount of the Gods," the lower the in 

verted "Mount of Demons." 

A clear view of the first of these remarkable 

1 " Dans les conceptions de la cosmogonie mythique des Indians on 
oppose au Sou-Merou le bon Merou, du Nord, tin Kou-Merou mau- 
vais et funeste, qui y fait exactement pendant et en est 1 antithese. De 
meme les Chaldeens opposaient a la divine et bienheureuse montagne 
de 1 Orient accadien garsag-babbarra = assyrien sad fit samsi, une 
montagne funeste et tenebreuse . . . accadien, garsag-gigga = assy 
rien sad erib samsi, situee dans les parties basses de la terre." Le 
normant, Origines de I llisfoire, torn. ii. I, p. 134. 


World-Mountains is so essential to any right under 
standing of mythical geography and of the mythical 
terrestrial Paradise that a more extended examina 
tion of the subject seems a necessity. 

Beginning with the Egyptians we may note this 
remarkable fact ; that notwithstanding his sharing 
the common and mistaken modern assumption that 
the Egyptians conceived of the earth as flat, Brugsch, 
confessedly the foremost authority in ancient Egyp 
tian geography, places the highest and most sacred 
part of the Egyptians earth at the North, making 
the land there to rise until in actual contact with 
heaven. He also places at the farthest southern 
extremity of the earth another lofty mountain, Ap- 
en-to or Tap-en-to, literally "the horn of the world." 1 
Now, while several professed Egyptologists have re 
cently come to the conviction that the earth of the 
Egyptians was a sphere, no one has brought out the 
fact that these two heights are two antipodal polar 
projections of the spherical earth, the upper or celes 
tial one being the mount of the gods, and the lower 
or infernal one the mount of demons. Of the for 
mer the following passage in the " Book of Hades " 
may naturally be understood to speak : 

" Draw me [the nocturnal sun], infernal ones ! . . . 

"Retreat towards the eastern heavens, toward the 
dwellings which support Sar, that mysterious moun 
tain that spreads light among the gods [or, that I 
may spread light among the gods ?], who receive me 
when I go forth from amongst you, from the re 
treat." 2 

1 Geographische Inschriften altagyptischer Denkmdler. Leipsic, 
1858 : vol. ii., p. 37. 

2 Records of the Past, vol. x., p. 103. I understand this to refer to 
the (northward and southward) annual, and not to the diurnal, move 
ment of the sun. 


To the inverted infernal mountain seem to apply 
the expressions in chapter one hundred and fifty of 
the " Book of the Dead : " 

" Oh, the very tall Hill in Hades ! The heaven 
rests upon it. There is a snake or dragon upon it : 
Sati is his name," etc. 1 

In another chapter of the same book a place is 
spoken of as " the inverted precinct," which place is 
Hades. 2 Moreover, the translator of another text, 
called the "Book of Hades," describes a "pendant 
mountain " as a curious feature in the vignette illus 
trations of the original. This can hardly be any 
thing other than Ap-en-to, the inverted mountain of 
Hades. 3 

1 The mention of the starry serpent or dragon completes the paral 
lelism between the North Polar and South Polar mountains. " Mr. 
Procter has remarked that when the North Pole Star was Alpha 
Draconis, the Southern was most probably the star Eta Hydri, and 
certain to have been in the constellation Hydra. . . . The encircling 
Serpent, the symbol of eternal going round, was figured at both Poles, 
the two centres of the total starry revolution." Massey, The Natural 
Genesis, vol. i., p. 345. In our discussion of the Pillar of Atlas we 
have spoken of the identity of Draco with the dragon which assisted 
the nymphs in watching the golden apples in the North Polar Gar 
dens of the Hesperides. See Depuis, Origines des Constellations, p. 147. 
The same parallelism is alluded to in the following : "The hypoceph- 
alus in question is divided into four compartments, two of which 
are opposed to the two others as if to indicate the two celestial hemi 
spheres ; the upper one above the terrestrial world and the lower one 
below it." Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archeology, March 4, 
1884. London, 1884 : p. 126. See also Revue Archeologique. Paris, 
1862 : vi., p. 129. 

2 Bunsen, Egypt s Place in Universal History, vol. v., p. 208. 

3 Records of the Past, vol. x., p. 88. Two years after the above 
was written I met with the following : " The god advancing in a re 
versed position " (in a certain New Zealand legend) "is the sun in the 
Underworld. The image exactly accords with an Egyptian scene of 
the sun passing through Hades, where we see the twelve gods of the 
earth, or the lower domain of night, marching towards a mountain 


The Akkadians, who antedated even the most an 
cient empires of the Tigro-Euphrates valley, had in 
like manner a " Mountain of the World," which was 
unlike all other mountains in that it was a support 
on which the heavens rested and around which they 
revolved. It was called Kharsak Kurra. It was so 
rich with gold and silver and precious stones as to 
be dazzling to the sight. An ancient Akkadian 
hymn respecting it uses this language : 

" O mighty mountain of Bel, Im-Kharsak, whose 
head rivals heaven, whose root is in the holy deep ! 

" Among the mountains like a strong wild bull it 
lieth down. 

" Its horn like the brilliance of the sun is bright. 

" Like the star of heaven it is filled with sheen." 1 

In another hymn, apparently of great antiquity, we 
find the goddess Istar addressed as " Queen of this 
Mountain of the World," which is further located 
and identified by its connection with "the axis of 
heaven," and with "the four rivers" of the Akkadian 
Paradise. 2 

turned upside down, and two typical personages are also turned upside 
down. This is an illustration of the passage of the sun through the 
Underworld. The reversed on the same monument are the dead. 
Thus the Osirified deceased, who has attained the second life, in the 
Ritual says exultingly, / do not walk upon my head? The dead, as 
the Akhu, are the spirits, and the Atua [of the New Zealand legend] 
is a spirit who comes walking upside down." Massey, The Natural 
Genesis. London, 1883 : vol. i., p. 529. (The italics are Massey s.) The 
passage is the more remarkable from the fact that Massey elsewhere 
states that the earth " was considered flat by the first myth-makers," 
who in his scheme appear to have been the Egyptians. Ibid., vol. i., 
p. 465. 

1 Records of the Past. London, vol. xi., pp. 131, 132. Lenormant, 
Chaldcean Magic, p. 168. Lenormant s latest revised translation may 
be seen in Les Origines de FHistoire, torn. ii. i, pp. 127, 128. 

2 George Smith, Assyrian Discoveries, pp. 392, 393. Mr. G. Mas- 


Lenormant places this mountain in the North (but 
sometimes incorrectly in the East or Northeast), and 
makes it the "lieu de r assembled des dieux /" but 
when he locates the corresponding antipodal moun 
tain of Hades in the West, instead of in the South, 
he seems to have gone entirely beyond the evidence. 
At least, Dr. Friedrich Delitzsch affirms that in the 
cuneiform literature thus far known he has discov 
ered no trace of such a location. 1 But on this ques 
tion of the site of these mountains more will be said 
in chapter sixth of the present division. 

The Assyrians and Babylonians inherited the 
Akkadian conception. One of the titles of the su 
preme divinity of the Assyrians related to the sa 
cred mount. An invocation to him opens thus : 
" Assur, the mighty god, who dwells in the temple 
of Kharsak Kurra." 2 An Assyrian hymn speaks 
of the 

" feasts of the silver mountain, 
The heavenly courts," 

and the translator makes the expression refer to 
this "Assyrian Olympos." 3 Sayce finds in the fol 
lowing a plain reference to the same : 

" I am lord of the steep mountains, which tremble 
whilst their summits reach to the firmament. 

sey remarks, " In an Akkadian hymn to Ishtar, the goddess is ad 
dressed as the Queen of the Mountain of the World and Queen 
of the land of the four rivers of Erech ; that is, as the goddess of the 
mythical Mount of the Pole and the four rivers of the four quarters, 
which arose in Paradise. The Mountain of the World was the 
Mount of the North." The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., p. 21. 

1 Wo lag das Paradies ? Leipsic, 1881 : p. 1 2 1. 

2 Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia. London : vol. i., pp. 
44, 45. Translated by Mr. Sayce in Records of the Past, vol. xi., 

P- 5- 

3 Records of the Past, vol. iii., p. 133. 


11 The mountain of alabaster, lapis, and onyx, in 
my hand I possess it." l 

How current the idea must have been among the 
Babylonians is shown by the rhetorical use made of 
it by the prophet Isaiah. Rebuking the arrogance 
of the king of Babylon and pre-announcing to him 
his doom, the prophet beholds his fall as already ac- 
complished, and in a passage of wonderful pictorial 
power and beauty exclaims, " How art thou fallen 
from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning ! how v 
art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken 
the nations ! For thou hast said in thine heart, I 
will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne 
above the stars of God : I will sit also upon the 
mount of the congregation in the sides of the North 
(or more correctly in the uttermost parts of the 
North, in the extreme northern regions), I will as 
cend above the heights of the clouds ; I will be like 
(or equal to) the Most High. Yet thou shalt be 
brought down to Sheol, to the sides (or regions) of 
the pit." 2 

Since the publication of Gesenius s commentary 
on this passage and his excursus upon the " Gotter- 
berg im Norden " appended to it, no question has re 
mained in the minds of scholars as to the character 
of the Har Moed y the " mount of the congregation," 
in the far-off North. 

Among the Chinese we find a similar celestial 
mount, the mythical Kwen-lun. It is often called 
simply " The Pearl Mountain." On its top is Para 
dise, with a living fountain from which flow in oppo 
site directions the four great rivers of the world. 3 

1 Records of the Past, vol. iii., p. 126. 2 Isaiah xiv. 12-15. 

8 Stollberg, Memoires concernant les Chinois, t. i., p. IOI, cited in 
Keerl, Lehre vom Paradies. Basle, 1861 : p. 796. 


Around it revolve the visible heavens ; and the stars 
nearest to it, that is nearest to the Pole, are sup 
posed to be the abodes of the inferior gods and 
genii. To this day, the Tauists speak of the first 
person of their trinity as residing in " the metropo 
lis of Pearl Mountain," and in addressing him turn 
their faces to the northern sky. 1 

A striking parallel to the Egyptian and Akkadian 
idea of two opposed polar mountains, an arctic and 
an antarctic, the one celestial and the other infer 
nal, is found among the ancient inhabitants of 
India. The celestial mountain they called Su-Meru, 
the infernal one Ku-Meru. 2 In the Hindu Puranas 
the size and splendors of the former are presented 
in the wildest exaggerations of Oriental fancy. Its 
height, according to some accounts, is not less than 
eight hundred and forty thousand miles, its diameter 
at the summit three hundred and twenty thousand. 
Four enormous buttress mountains, situated at mu 
tually opposite points of the horizon, surround it. 
One account makes the eastern side of Meru of the 
color of the ruby, its southern that of the lotus, its 
western that of gold, its northern that of coral. On 
its summit is the vast city of Brahma, fourteen thou 
sand leagues in extent. 3 Around it, in the cardinal 

1 Joseph Edkins, Religion in China. 2d ed., 1878 : p. 151. The 
Ainos of Japan, although declared to be " ausserordentlich arm an 
Sagen," have nevertheless their corresponding mythical Gold-moun 
tain, Kogane-yama. Dr. B. Scheube, Die Ainos. Yokohama, 1882 : 
p. 24. 

2 " Meru, in Sanskrit, signifies an axis or pivot." Wilford in Asi 
atic Researches. London, 1808: vol. viii., p. 285. The prefix " Su " 
signifies " beautiful." 

3 In Brugsch s Astronomische Inschriften, p. 177, we read, "Es gab 
ein himmliches Ami or On, Heliopolis, dessen b stliche Lichtseite und 
westliche Lichtseite ofters erwahnt werden." Was this perhaps the 


points and the intermediate quarters, are situated the 
magnificent cities of Indra and the other regents of 
the spheres. The city of Brahma in the centre of 
the eight is surrounded by a moat of sweet flowing 
celestial waters, a kind of river of the water of life 
(Ganga), which after encircling the city divides into 
four mighty rivers flowing towards four opposite 
points of the horizon, and descending into the equa 
torial ocean which engirdles the earth. 1 

Sometimes Mount Meru is represented as planted 
so firmly and deeply in the globe that the antarctic 
or infernal mountain is only a projection of its lower 
end. Thus the Surya Siddhanta says : " A collec 
tion of manifold jewels, a mountain of gold, is Meru, 
passing through the middle of the earth-globe (b/m- 
gola\ and protruding on either side. At its upper 
end are stationed along with Indra the gods and 
the Great Sages (maharishis) ; at its lower end, in 
like manner, the demons have their abode, each 
[class] the enemy of the other. Surrounding it on 
every side is fixed, next, this great ocean, like a 
girdle about the earth, separating the two hemi 
spheres of the gods and of the demons." 

Conceiving of Meru in this way, as a kind of core 
extending through the earth and projecting at each 
pole, one can easily understand the following pas 
sage, in which two pole-stars are spoken of instead 
of one : " In both \i. e., the two opposite] directions 
from Meru are two pole-stars fixed in the midst of 
the sky." As these mark the two opposite poles of 

Vorbild and Egyptian counterpart of the city of Brahma, the city of 
Sakra, and all the other Asiatic Gotterstddte in the celestial pole ? 
It would be very interesting to know. 
1 See APPENDIX, Sect. IV. : " The Earth of the Hindus." 


the heavens, it is correctly added that "to those 
who are situated in places of no latitude [i. e., on 
the equator] both these pole-stars have their place 
in the horizon." Farther on in the same treatise 
the common designation used for the northern hem 
isphere is the hemisphere of the gods, and for the 
southern the hemisphere of the asuras, or demons. 1 

A picture of " the Earth of the Hindus," showing 
the exact position of Meru and its buttress-mounts, 
will be given below in chapter fourth of the present 
Part (p. 152). 

That the cosmology of ancient India should have 
been retained and propagated in its main features 
by all the followers of Buddha was only natural. 
Accordingly, in their teachings our earth, and every 
other, has its Sumeru, around which everything cen 
tres. 2 Its top, according to the Nyayanousara Shas- 
ter, is four-square, and on it are situated the three 
and thirty (Trayastrinshas) heavens. Each face of 
the summit measures 80,000 yojanas. Each of the 
four corners of the mountain-top has a peak seven 
hundred yojanas high. These, of course, are simply 
the four buttress -mountains of the v Hindu Meru 
lifted to the summit and made the culminating 

1 Chapter xii., sections 45-74. On the origin and age of this trea 
tise see the notes of the translator, Rev. Ebenezer Burgess, in the 
Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. vi. New Haven, 
1860 : pp. 140-480. 

2 Its name, in Japanese, is written Sxi-meru ; in Chinese, Si-mi- 
liu, or Siu-mi ; in Tibetan, Rirap, or Ri-rap-hlumpo ; in Mongolian 
(Kalmuck), Summer Sola, or Sjumer Sula ; in Burmese, Miem-mo. 
C. F. Koeppen, Die Religion des Buddhas. Berlin, 1857 : vol. i., p. 
232. See, also, A. Bastian, Die Volker des ostlichen Asiens, Bd. iii., 
8- 352, 353 5 vi., 567, 568> 578, 580, 587, 589, 590. Spence Hardy, 
Manual of Buddhism, pp. 1-35. The same, Legends of the Buddhists. 
London, 1866 : pp. xxix., 42, 81, 101, 176, etc. 


peaks. They are ornamented, we are told, with the 
seven precious substances, gold, silver, lapis-lazuli, 
crystal, cornelian, coral, and ruby. One of the cities 
on the summit is called Sudarsana, or Belle-vue. It 
is 10,000 yojanas in circuit. The stoned gates are 
\\ yojanas high, and there are 1,000 of these gates, 
fully adorned. Each gate has 500 blue-clad celestial 
guards, fully armed. In its centre is a kind of inner 
city called the Golden City of King Sakra, whose 
pavilion is 1,000 yojanas in circuit, and its floor is of 
pure gold, inlaid with every kind of gem. This royal 
residence has 500 gates, and on each of the four 
sides are 100 towers, within each of which there are 
1,700 chambers, each of which chambers has within 
it seven Devis, and each Devi is attended by seven 
handmaidens. All these Devis are consorts of Ktng 
Sakra, with whom he has intercourse in different 
forms and personations, according to his pleasure. 
The length and breadth of the thirty-three heav 
ens is 60,000 yojanas. They are surrounded by a 
sevenfold city wall, a sevenfold ornamental railing, a 
sevenfold row of tinkling curtains, and beyond these 
a sevenfold row of Talas-trees. All these encircle 
one another, and are of every color of the rainbow, 
intermingled and composed of every precious sub 
stance. Within, every sort of enjoyment and every 
enchanting pleasure is provided for the occupants. 

Outside this wonderful city of the gods, there is 
on each of its four sides a park of ravishing beauty. 
In each park there is a sacred tower erected over 
personal relics of Buddha. Each park has also a 
magic lake, filled with water possessing eight pecu 
liar excellences. Thus beauties are heaped upon 
beauties, splendors upon splendors, marvels upon 


marvels, until in sheer despair the wearied and ex 
hausted imagination abandons all further effort at 
definite mental representation. 1 

It is worthy of note that, while most scholars have 
supposed the Sumeru of Buddhism to be simply a 
development of the Indian idea, Mr. Beal, a high 
authority, has, in one of his latest publications, 
claimed for it an independent and coordinate, if not 
primitive, character. 2 Other peculiarities in Buddhist 
cosmography, especially the detachment of Uttara- 
kuru and of Jambu-dvvipa from Mount Meru, in 
both of which particulars the Buddhist cosmos dif 
fers from the Puranic, lend some apparent confir 
mation to this claim. 

In ancient Iranian thought this same celestial 
mountain presents itself to the student. Its name 
is Hara-berezaiti, the mythical Albordj, 3 " the seat 
of the genii : around it revolve sun, moon, and stars ; 
over it leads the path of the blessed to heaven." 4 

1 See Beal, Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, pp. 75-81. Comp. Beal, 
Lechtres on Buddhist Literature in China, pp. 146-159. 

2 " I cannot doubt that the Buddhist myth about Sume or Sumeru is 
distinct from the later Brahmanical account of it, and allied with the 
universal belief in and adoration of the highest." Buddhist Litera 
ture in China. London, 1882 : p. xv. 

3 " Das erste Vorkommen des Namens im Zend ist im Gebet an 
Mithra (invoco, celebro supremum umbilicum aquarum, nach Duper- 
rons Uebersetzung) welches E. Burnouf wortgetreuer iibersetzt : Ich 
preise den hohen gottlichen Berggipfel, die Quelle der Wasser, und 
das Wasser des Ormuzd, wo die Bezeichnung eine ganz allgemeine 
ist. Vom Adjectiv berezat, d. i. erhaben in der Parsen Uebersetz 
ung, stammt erst der Bordj? d. i. der Erhabene. Als Berg aus 
dem die Wasser hervortreten, wird er im Zend * Nafedro (Nabhi im 
Sanskrit.) d. i. der Nabel genannt, als Erhohung welche Wasser 
giebt ; und als Berg der das befruchtende Princip enthalt zum Genius 
der Frauen erhoben." Ritter, Erdkunde, viii. 47. 

* Spiegel, Erdnische Alterthumskunde. Leipsic, 1871 : Ed. i ., S. 
463. The Venid&d. Fargard xxi., et passim. See references in Index 


The following description of it in one of the invo 
cations of Rashnu in the Rashn Yasht forcibly re 
minds one of the Odyssean description of the heav 
enly Olympos : " Whether thou, O holy Rashnu, art 
on the Hara-berezaiti, the bright mountain around 
which the many stars revolve, where come neither 
night nor darkness, no cold wind and no hot wind, 
no deathful sickness, no uncleanness made by the 
Daevas, and the clouds cannot reach up to the Ha- 
raiti Bareza ; we invoke, we bless Rashnu." l 

The following description is from Lenormant : 
" Like the Meru of the Indians, Hara-berezaiti is the 
Pole, the centre of the world, the fixed point around 
which the sun and the planets perform their revolu 
tions. Analogously to the Ganga of the Brahmans, 
it possesses the celestial fountain Ardvi-Sura, the 
mother of all terrestrial waters and the source of all 
good things. In the midst of the lake formed by 
the waters of the sacred source grows a single mi 
raculous tree, similar to the Jambu of the Indian 
myth, or else two trees, corresponding exactly to 
those of the Biblical Gan-Eden. . . . There is the 
garden of Ahuramazda, like that of Brahma on Meru. 
Thence the waters descend toward the four cardinal 
points in four large streams, which symbolize the 
four horses attached to the car of the goddess of the 
sacred source, Ardvi - Sura - Anahita. These four 
horses recall the four animals placed at the source 
of the paradisaic rivers in the Indian conception." 2 

to Pahlevi Texts, translated by E. W. West. Vol. v. of Sacred Books 
of the East. Also Haug, Religion of the Par sees. 2d ed., Boston, 
1878 : pp. 5, 190, 197, 203-205, 216, 255, 286, 316, 337, 361, 381, 387, 


1 Darmesteter, l^he Zend-Avesta, ii. 174. 

2 " Ararat and Eden." The Contemporarv Re-view, September, 1881, 


The Hellenic and Roman myths concerning the 
" World -mountain " were numerous, but in later 
times not a little confused, as Ideler has learnedly 
shown. 1 By some, as for example Aristotle, it was 
identified with the Caucasus, and it was asserted 
that its height was so prodigious that after sunset 
its head was illuminated a third part of the night, 
and again a third part before the rising of the sun 
in the morning. This identification explains the 
later legend, according to which, in order to prove his 
rightful lordship of the world, Alexander the Great 
plucked " the shadowless lance " (the earth s axis) 
out of the topmost peak of the Taurus Mountains. 2 
More commonly the mount is called Atlas, or the 
Atlantic mountain. Proclus, quoting Heraclitus, says 
of it, "Its magnitude is such that it touches the 
ether and casts a shadow of five thousand stadia in 
length. From the ninth hour of the day the sun is 
concealed by it, even to his perfect demersion under 

Am. ed., p. 41. Compare the following : " L Albordj des Perses cor 
respond parfaitement au Merou des Hindous ; de meme que la tra 
dition de ceux-ce divise la terre en sept D\vipas ou isles, de meme les 
livres zends et pehlvis reconnaissent sept Keschvars ou contrees 
groupees egalement autour de la montagne sainte," etc. Religions de 
rAntiquite. Creuzer, trad. Guigniaut. Tom. I., pt. ii., p. 702, note. 

1 On the Homeric and Hesiodic Olympos, see below, part sixth, 
chapter second. 

2 " Auch in den Alexandersagen des Mittelalters ist die Erinnerung 
an das Naturcentrum im Nordpol erhalten, und zwar in merkwiirdiger 
Uebereinstimmung der morgen- und abendlandischer Dichter. In 
dem altenglischen Gedicht von Alisaunder (bei Jacobs und Uckert, 
8.461) findet Alexander der Grosse auf dem hochsten Gipfel des Tau 
rus eine schattenlose Lanze, von welcher geweissagt war, wer sie aus 
dem Boden reissen konne, werde Herr der Welt werden. Alexander 
aber riss sie heraus. Die Lanze ist ein Sinnbild der Weltachse. Sie 
weist vom hochsten Berge auf den Nordpol hin, und ist schattenlos 
weil von dort urspriinglich alles Licht ausging." Menzel, Die vor~ 
christliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, Bd. i., S. 86. 


the earth." 1 Strabo s account of it is full of the 
legendary features characteristic of an earthly Par 
adise. The olive - trees were of extraordinary ex 
cellence, and there were there seven varieties of 
refreshing wine. He informs us that the grape 
clusters were a cubit in length, and the vine-trunks 
sometimes so thick that two men could scarcely 
clasp round one of them. Herodotus describes the 
mountain as " very tapering and round ; so lofty, 
moreover, that the top (they say) cannot be seen, 
the clouds never quitting it either summer or win 
ter. The natives call this mountain l The Pillar 
of Heaven, and they themselves take their name 
from it, being called Atlantes. They are reported 
not to eat any living thing and never to have any 
dreams." 2 Equally strange is the story told by 
Maximus Tyrius, according to which the waves of 
the ocean at high water stopped short before the 
sacred mount, "standing up like a wall around its 
base, though unrestrained by any earthly barrier." 
" Nothing but the air and the sacred thicket prevent 
the water from reaching the mountain." According 
to other ancient legends, a river of milk descended 
from this marvelous height. Noticing such curious 
stories, Pliny well describes the mountain asfabulo- 

1 See Taylor s Notes on Pausamas, vol. iii., p. 264. 

2 Herodotus, Bk. iv. 184. 

3 " When Cleanthes asserted that the earth was in the shape of a 
cone, this, in my opinion, is to be understood only of this mountain, 
called Meru in India. Anaximenes said that this column was plain 
and of stone : exactly like the Meru-pargwette of the inhabitants of Cey 
lon, according to Mr. Joinville in the seventh volume of the Asiatic 
Researches. This mountain, says he, is entirely of stone, 68,000 
yojanas high, and 10,000 in circumference from top to bottom. The 
divines of Tibet say it is square, and like an inverted pyramid. Some 


Everywhere, therefore, in the most ancient ethnic 
thought, in the Egyptian, Akkadian, Assyrian, 
Babylonian, Indian, Persian, Chinese, and Greek, 
everywhere is encountered this conception of what, 
looked at with respect to its base and magnitude, is 
called the " Mountain of the World," but looked at 
with respect to its glorious summit and its celestial 
inhabitants is styled the " Mountain of the Gods." 
We need not pursue the investigation further. 
Enough has been said to warrant the assertion of 
Dr. Samuel Beal : "It is plain that this idea of a 
lofty central primeval mountain belonged to the un 
divided human race." ! Elsewhere the same learned 
sinologue has said, "I have no doubt I can have 
none that the idea of a central mountain, and of 
the rivers flowing from it, and the abode of the gods 
upon its summit, is a primitive myth derived from 
the earliest traditions of our race." 2 

The ideas of the ancients respecting the Under 
world, that is the southern hemisphere of the earth 
beyond the equatorial ocean, are sufficiently set forth 
in the writer s essay on " Homer s Abode of the 
Dead," printed in the Appendix of the present work. 3 

In all these studies one important caution has too 
often been overlooked. In interpreting the cosmo- 
logical and geographical references of ancient relig 
ious writings it should never be forgotten that the 
ideas expressed are often poetical and symbolical, 

of the followers of Buddha in India insist that it is like a drum, with a 
swell in the middle, like drums in India ; and formerly in the West, 
Leucippus said the same thing." F. Wilford, in Asiatic Researches, 
vol. viii., p. 273. 

1 Buddhist Literature in China, p. 147. 

2 Ibid., p. xiv. 

8 See APPENDIX, Sect. VI. 


religious ideas, hallowed in sacred song and story. 
If, some thousands of years hence, one of Macaulay s 
archaeologists of New Zealand were to try to ascer 
tain and set forth the geographical knowledge of the 
Christian England of to-day by a study of a few 
fragments of English hymns of our period, critically 
examining every expression about a certain wonder 
ful mountain, located sometimes on earth and some 
times in heaven, and bearing the varying name of 
"Sion" or " Zion ; " then making a microscopical 
study of all the references to the strange river, which 
according to the same texts would seem to be va 
riously represented as u dark," and as possessed of 
" stormy banks," and as " rolling between " the 
singer living in England and the abode of the dead 
located in Western Asia, and called "Canaan," a 
river sometimes addressed and represented as so 
miraculously discriminating as to know for whom to 
divide itself, letting them cross over " dry shod," 
surely, under such a process of interpretation, even 
the England of the nineteenth century would make 
in geographical science a very sorry showing. Or 
again, if some Schliemann of a far-off future were to 
excavate the site of one of the dozen American vil 
lages known by the name of " Eden," and, finding 
unequivocal monumental evidence that it was thus 
called, were thereupon to conclude and teach that 
the Americans of the date of that village believed its 
site to be the true site of the Eden of Sacred His 
tory, and that here the race of man originated, this 
would be a grave mistake, but it would be a mistake 
precisely similar to many an one which has been 
committed by our archaeologists in interpreting and 
reconstructing the geography of the ancients. 


In concluding this sketch of ancient cosmology 
one further question naturally and inevitably thrusts 
itself upon us. It is this : How are the rise and the 
so wide diffusion of this singular world-view to be 
explained ? In other words, how came it to pass 
that the ancestors of the oldest historic races and 
peoples agreed to regard the North Pole as the true 
summit of the earth and the circumpolar sky as the 
true heaven ? Why were Hades and the lowest hell 
adjusted to a south polar nadir ? The one and sole 
satisfactory explanation is found in the hypothesis 
of a primitive north polar Eden. Studied from that 
standpoint, the appearances of the universe would be 
exactly adapted to produce this curious cosmolog- 
ical conception. Thus the very system of ancient 
thought respecting the world betrays the point of 
view from which the world was first contemplated. 
This, though an indirect evidence of the truth of our 
hypothesis, is for this very reason all the more con 



A ccording to the most ancient texts Japan is the centre of the earth. W. E. 

ACCORDING to the earliest cosmogony of the Jap 
anese, as given in their most ancient book, the Ko- 
ji-ki, 1 the creators and first inhabitants of our world 
were a god and goddess, Izanagi and Izanani by 
name. These, in the beginning, we quote from 
Sir Edward Reed, " standing on the bridge of 
heaven, pushed down a spear into the green plain of 
the sea, and stirred it round and round. When they 
drew it up the drops which fell from its end consoli 
dated and became an island. The sun-born pair 
descended on to the island, and planting a spear in 
the ground, point downwards, built a palace round 
it, taking that for the central roof-pillar. The spear 

1 Speaking of this work, M. Leon de Rosny calls it 1 un des monu 
ments les plus authentiques de la vieille litterature japonaise, and 
says, "Nous devons non seulement a cet ouvrage la connaissance de 
1 histoire du Nippon anterieure au vii. siecle de notre ere, mais 1 ex- 
pose le plus autorise de 1 antique mythologie sintauiste. II y a meme 
ce fait remarquable, que les dieux primordiaux du pantheon japonais, 
mentionnes dans ce livre, ne figurent deja plus au commencement du 
Yamato bumi, qui est posterieur seulement de quelques annees a la 
publication du Koji ki. Ces dieux primordiaux paraissent oublies, 
ou tout au moins negliges, dans les ouvrages indigenes qui ont paru 
par la suite." Questions d 1 Archeologie Japonaise. Paris, 1882 : p. 3. 
An English translation of the Ko-ji-ki, by B. H. Chamberlain, has 
just appeared in Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, vol. v. 


became the axis of the earth, which had been caused 
to revolve by the stirring round." l 

This island, however, was the Japanese Eden. 
Here originated the human race. Its name was 
Onogorojima, "The Island of the Congealed Drop." 
Its first roof-pillar, as we have seen, was the axis of 
the earth. Over it was " the pivot of the vault of 
heaven." 2 Mr. Reed, who has no theory on the 
subject to maintain, says, "The island must have 
been situated at the Pole of the earth." 3 In like 
manner, with no idea of the vast anthropological 
significance and value of the datum, Mr. Griffis re 
marks, "The island formed by the congealed drops 
was once at the North Pole, but has since been 
taken to its present position in the Inland Sea." 

Here, then, is the testimony of the most ancient 

1 Sir Edward J. Reed, Japan^ vol. i., 31. 

2 Leon Metchnikoff, L Empire Japonais. Geneve, 1881 : p. 265. 

8 Ibid. Our interpretation of ancient cosmology and of the true 
Eden location at once brings light into the whole system of Japanese 
mythology. In the following, extracted from Mr. Griffis, no one has 
ever before known what to make of " the Pillar of Heaven and Earth" 
"the Bridge of Heaven" the position of primitive Japan "on the top 
of the globe" and at the same time at " the centre of the Earth : " 
* The first series of children born were the islands of Japan. . . . Japan 
lies on the top of the globe. ... At this time heaven and earth were 
very close to each other, and the goddess Amaterazu being a rare and 
beautiful child, whose body shone brilliantly, Izanagi sent her up the 
Pillar that united heaven and earth, and bade her rule over the high 
plain of heaven. ... As the earth-gods and evil deities multiplied, 
confusion and discord reigned, which the sun goddess (Amaterazu), 
seeing, resolved to correct by sending her grandson Ninigi to earth to 
rule over it. Accompanied by a great retinue of deities, he descended 
by means of the floating Bridge of Heaven, on which the divine first 
pair had stood, to Mount Kirishima. After his descent, heaven and 
earth, which had already separated to a considerable distance, receded 
utterly, and further communication ceased. . . . According to the most 
ancient texts Japan is the centre of the earth." 

4 McClintock and Strong, Cydopadia, vol. ix., p. 688. Art. " Shinto." 


Japanese tradition. Nothing could be more un 
equivocal. Izanagi s divinely precious spear of jade, 1 
like the transverse jade -tube of the ancient Shu 
King, 2 is an imperishable index, not only to the 
astronomical attainments of prehistoric humanity, 
but also to humanity s prehistoric abode. 

In Part fifth, chapter fourth, further illustration 
of the Japanese conception of the origin of their 
race will be given. 

1 mile Burnouf, " La pique celeste de jade rouge." La Mytho- 
logie des Japonais d apres le Koku-si-Ryaku. Paris, 1875 : p. 6. 

2 " He examined the pearl-adorned turning sphere, with its trans 
verse tube of jade, and reduced to a harmonious system the move 
ments of the Seven Directors." Legge s Translation in The Sacred 
Books of the East, vol. iii., p. 38. Professor Legge once examined 
this passage in my presence, and found unexpected corroboration of 
the interpretation which identifies " the transverse tube of jade " with 
the axis of heaven. 



The rationalistic genius of the matter-of-fact Chinese is apparent even in the 
way in which they conceived their primitive history ; and in this respect, as in 
many others, it brings them into nearer relations with the best modern science 
than belong to the other Oriental races. SAMUEL JOHNSON (of Salem). 

It is through this wonderfully pure seer [Lao-tse], as it appears to me, that 
we ascend to the primitive revelation oj truth given to this ancient people. 

APPROACHING this theme, a reviewer of the Shin 
Seen Tung Keen a " General Account of the Gods 
and Genii," in twenty-two volumes offers the fol 
lowing observations : " All nations have some tradi 
tion of a Paradise, a place of primeval happiness, a 
state of innocence and delight. The Tauists a are 
by no means behind in referring to an abode of last 
ing bliss, which, however, still exists on earth. It is 
called Kwen-lun." 2 

In another article, by a student of Chinese sources, 
it is stated, " This locality, being the abode of the 
gods, is Paradise ; it is round in form, and like Eden 
it is the mount of assembly. " 3 

Like the Gan-Eden of Genesis it is described as a 

1 " Die Secte der Tao-sse hat die Sagen und religiosen Gebrauche 
des alten China s noch am Meisten aufbewahrt." Liiken, Traditionen 
des Menschengeschlechtes, p. 77. " Lao-tse abounds in sentences out 
of some ancient lore, of which we have no knowledge but from him." 
Samuel Johnson, Oriental Religions China. Boston, 1877: p. 861. 

2 The Chinese Repository^ vol. vii., p. 519. 

8 The Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal, vol. iv., p. 94- 
Compare Isaiah xiv. 13, 14. 


garden, with a marvelous tree in the midst ; also with 
a fountain of immortality, from which proceed four 
rivers, which flow in opposite directions toward the 
four quarters of the earth. 1 

In the language of the writer first quoted in this 
chapter, "Sparkling fountains and purling streams 
contain the far-famed ambrosia. One may there 
rest on flowery carpeted swards, listening to the 
melodious warbling of birds, or feasting upon the 
delicious fruits, at once fragrant and luscious, which 
hang from the branches of the luxuriant groves. 
Whatever there is beautiful in landscape or grand 
in nature may also be found there in the highest 
state of perfection. All is charming, all enchanting, 
and whilst Nature smiles the company of genii de 
lights the ravished visitor." 2 

Where, now, is this Paradise mountain located ? 
At the North Pole. 

The sentence before those last quoted reads as 
follows : " Here is the great pillar that sustains the 
world, no less than 300,000 miles high." 

This world-pillar, or axis of the earth, is some 
times conceived of as slender enough for the use of 
a climber. Thus we read, " One of the Chinese 
kings, anxious to become acquainted with the de 
lightful spot, set out in search of it. After much 
wandering he perceived the immense column spoken 
of, but, trying to ascend it, he found it so slippery 
that he had to abandon all hopes of gaining his end, 
and to endeavor by some mountain road which was 
rugged in the extreme to find his way to Paradise. 
When almost fainting with fatigue, some friendly 

1 Liiken, Traditionen des Menschengeschlechtes, p. 72. 

2 The Chinese Repository, vol. vii., p. 519. 


nymphs, who had all the time from an eminence 
compassionated the weary wanderer, lent him an 
assisting hand. He arrived there, and immediately 
began to examine the famous spot." 1 

Such a pillar connecting the earth with an upper 
Paradise, and affording a means of access thereto, 
necessarily recalls to mind the analogous conception 
set forth in the Talmud : "There is an upper and a 
lower Paradise. And between them, upright, is fixed 
a pillar ; and by this they are joined together ; and 
t is called The Strength of the Hill of Sion. And 
by this Pillar on every Sabbath and Festival the 
righteous climb up and feed themselves with a glance 
of the Divine majesty till the end of the Sabbath or 
Festival, when they slide down and return into the 
lower Paradise." 2 

In this conception we have a twofold Paradise, one 
celestial and one terrestrial. Among the Chinese 

1 The Chinese Repository, vol. vii., p. 520. 

2 Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, Bd. ii., p. 318. (English 
translation, vol. ii., p. 25.) Compare Schulthess, Das Paradies, p. 
354. Also the story of Er, the Pamphylian, in which we have the 
same " column, brighter than the rainbow, extending right through the 
whole heaven and through the earth ; " here also the spirits visiting 
the earth are allowed seven days before ascending. Plato, Republic, 
616. Also the Chaldaeo-Assyrian conception of " the celestial and ter 
restrial Paradises, supposed to be united by means of the Paradisaic 
Mount itself." The Oriental and Biblical Journal. Chicago, 1880 : 
p. 173. Also the Greek idea: " Sehr merkwiirdig ist, was Pindar 
(Olymp., ii., 56 f.) von den Seligen sagt. Wenn sie namlich auf der 
Insel der Seligen sich befmden, steigen sie zum Thurme des Chronos 
empor. Dieser Hohentendenz entspricht nun die alte Vorstellung 
vom Naturcentrum am Nordpol und so fiihren uns denn auch die grie- 
chischen Dichter auf einem langen Umwege doch zuletzt nach Nysa, 
wo uns die griechischen Kiinstler alle Wonnen des dionysischen Him- 
mels aufthun." Menzel, Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, ii., 
p. 10. Finally, the Japanese idea in Griffis, The Mikadtfs Empire, 
p. 44. 



we find the same. The upper is situated in the cen 
tre or pole of heaven, the lower directly under it, at 
the centre or pole of the northern terrestrial hemi 
sphere. The Pillar connecting them is of course 
the axis of the heavenly vault. 

We quote : " Within the seas, in the valleys of 
Kwen-lun, at the northwest is Shang-te s Lower 
Recreation Palace. It is eight hundred le square, 
and eighty thousand feet high. In front there are 
nine walls, inclosed by a fence of precious stones. 
At the sides there are nine doors, through which the 
light streams, and it is guarded by beasts. Shang- 
te s wife also dwells in this region, immediately over 
which is Shang-te s Heavenly Palace, which is situ 
ated in the centre of the heavens [the celestial pole], 
as his earthly one is in the centre of the earth [the 
terrestrial pole]." * 

There can be no mistaking this use of the term 
"centre" for pole, for the Chinese astronomers 
expressly state, "The Polar star is the centre of 
heaven." 2 

Elsewhere, instead of Kwen-lun being a World- 
pillar in the "valleys," or "plain," or "mound" of 
the terrestrial Paradise, we find it described as a stu 
pendous heaven-sustaining mountain, marking the 
centre or pole of the earth : " The four quarters of 
the earth incline downwards. . . . On this vast plain 
or mount, surrounded on all sides by the four seas, 
arise the mountains of Kwen-lun, the highest in the 
world according to the Chinese geographers : Kwen- 

1 The Chinese Recorder, vol. iv., p. 95. 

2 The Chinese Repository, vol. iv., p. 194. Compare Menzel : " Der 
Polarstern heisst Palast der Mitte." Unsterblichkeitslehre, Bd. i, 
p. 44. 


lun is the name of a mountain ; it is situated at the 
northwest, fifty thousand le from the Sung-Kaou 
mountains, and is the centre of the earth. It is eleven 
thousand le in height (Kang-he)." 1 

The significance of the foregoing as respects the 
location of Paradise cannot be doubtful. But com 
pare further the sixth head under chapter third of 
Part fifth ; also chapter fourth of the same Part. 

1 The Chinese Recorder, vol. iv., p. 94. 



TJte reader cannot have failed to be struck, as the first explorers of Sanskrit 
literature have been, with tfa close analogy, -we might even say the perfect iden 
tity , of all the essential features of the typical description of Mount Meru in the 
Puranas with the topography of Eden in the second chapter of Genesis. The gar 
den of Eden (gan-Eden], the garden of God (gan-Elohim, Ezek. xxviii. 13), which 
is guarded by the anointed and protecting Kerub (Ezek. xxviii. 14, 16), is placed, 
like the garden of delight of the gods of India, on the summit of a mountain, the 
holy mountain of God (har qodesh Elohim (Ezek. xxviii. 14, 16), all sparkling with 
precious stones (Ibid.).*- LENORMANT. 

IN what kind of a world lived the ancient Brah 
man ? And what was his conception of the location 
of the cradle of the race ? 

One of the oldest of the elaborate geographical 
treatises of India is the Vishnu Purana. Taking 
this as a guide, let us place ourselves alongside one 
of the ancients of the country, and look about us. 

First, we will look to the South, far down the 
Indian Ocean. What was supposed to lie in that 

1 The continuation of the passage is as follows : " The Jehovistic 
writer does not say so in Genesis, but the prophets are express in this 
respect. The tree of life grows in the midst of the garden (bethoch 
haggan} with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. ii. 9 ; 
iii. 3), exactly like the tree Jambu, in the centre of the delightful pla 
teau which crowns the height of Meru. A river goes out of Eden to 
water the garden, and from thence it divides and forms four arms 
(Gen. ii. 10). This corresponds in the most precise manner with the 
way in which the spring Ganga, after having watered the Celestial 
Land, or the Land of Joy at the summit of Meru, forms four lakes on 
the four counterforts of this holy mountain, whence it afterwards flows 
out in four large rivers toward the four cardinal points." 


direction ? To begin with their distribution of the 
different quarters of the world among the gods, this 
is the quarter belonging to Yama, the god of the 
dead : 

" May he whose hands the thunder wield 
Be in the East thy guard and shield ; 
May Yama s care the South befriend, 
And Varun s arm the West defend ; 
And let Kuvera, lord of gold, 
The North with firm protection hold." l 

In precise accordance with our Key to Ancient 
Cosmology, it is the direction of descent. North is 
upwards (uttardt), south is downwards (adhardt}? 
Hence the abode and kingdom of Yama is not only 
to the south, but also below the level of India, i. e., 
on the under hemisphere, or, as Monier Williams lo 
cates it, in " the lower world." 3 All Hindu litera 
ture is full of similar references. The exact time 
required for the soul s journey was supposed to be 
four hours and forty minutes. 4 

In this direction, evidently, we shall vainly seek 
a paradise. Let us turn to the North and " ascend." 

1 Griffiths, Ramayana, ii. 20. 

2 Zimmer, Altindisches Leben. Berlin, 1879 : p. 359. 

3 Yama : " one of the eight guardians of the world as regent of the 
South quarter, in which direction in some region of the lower world 
is his abode called Yama-pura ; thither a soul, when it leaves the 
body, is said to repair, and there, after the recorder, Citra-gupta, has 
read an account of its actions, kept in a book called Agra-Sandani, 
receives a just sentence, either ascending to heaven, or to the world 
of the Pitris, or being driven down to one of the twenty-one hells." 
Williams, Sanskrit Dictionary, sub. " Yama." 

4 " The soul is believed to reach Yama s abode in four hours and 
forty minutes ; consequently a dead body cannot be burned until that 
time has passed after death." W. J. Wilkins, Hindu Mythology, Ve- 
dic and Puranic. London, 1882 : Art. "Yama." See, also, Muir, 
Sanskrit Texts, v. 284-327, and our references in " Homer s Abode 
of the Dead." 


First, of course, we come to the Himalaya range, 
the Himavat of Indian geography. All that por 
tion of the earth lying between this mountain range 
and the great ocean to the South constitutes one of 
the seven, or nine, " varshas," or divisions of the 
habitable (upper) hemisphere. Its name is Bharata. 
If now our ancient Hindu could proceed due North 
and cross the Himavat, which he does not think 
possible to mortals, he would find himself in Kim- 
purusha, an equally extensive but more elevated and 
beautiful varsha, extending northward till bounded 
by a second range of incredibly lofty mountains, 
the Himakuta. Still " ascending," or going North, 
until he had crossed this division and passed the 
Himakuta, he would enter Harivarsha, a still loftier 
and diviner country. This extends, in turn, to an 
other boundary range, the Nishadha, crossing which 
one would come to Ilavrita, the central varsha of all, 
which occupies the top as well as the centre of the 
world. To the adequate description of the beauty 
and glory and preciousness of this country no tongue 
is equal. In its centre is situated the mount of the 
gods, "Beautiful Meru," described in chapter first 
of the present Part. It is at the Pole, and around 
it revolve all constellations of heaven. It is the 
centre of the habitable world. 

Continuing our imaginary journey across this di 
vine country of Ilavrita, crossing of course this co 
lossal central mountain, we should now begin to de 
scend on the meridian opposite to that on which we 
ascended on the India side of the globe. The boun 
dary of the central region on that side is the Nila 
range, then comes the varsha of Ramyaka ; its 
farther boundary is the Sweta range, beyond which 


is the varsha of Hiranmaya. Still descending, we 
cross this and the range which bounds it on the far 
ther side, the Sringin, and we are in Uttarakuru, the 
last of the seven grand divisions of the earth, the 
one corresponding, in distance from Meru, to Bha- 
rata, or our starting-point. It, of course, is on the 
equatorial ocean, and here too we have only to cross 
this ocean in order to reach the underworld. 

The way in which the varshas are made to num 
ber " nine " is by subdividing the great central cross- 
section of the hemispherical surface, leaving Ilavrita 
a perfect square on the top of the globe, the land 
descending eastward to the sea being called Bhad- 
rasva, and the corresponding country to the West 
being called Ketumala. 

To assist the reader to a clearer conception of 
this sacred geography we give herewith two cuts, 
one of which presents in outline the side-aspect of 
the Puranic earth, and the other a flat polocentric 
projection of its upper hemisphere. 1 

Having now answered our first question, and 
showed in what kind of a world the ancient Hindu 
lived, we pass to the second : " What was his con 
ception of the location of the cradle of the race ? " 

The question is answered the moment we say that 
in the Hindu conception and tradition man pro 
ceeded from Meru. His Eden-land was Ilavrita. It 
was therefore at the Pole. 

How strange that Lenormant could have written 
the following, and still have imagined that the true 
primeval Eden of the Hindu was anywhere else than 
at the terrestrial Pole ! He says, " In all the leg- 

1 See also APPENDIX, Sect. IV., "The Earth and the World of 
the Hindus." 


ends of India the origin of mankind is placed on 
Mount Meru, the residence of the gods, a column 
which unites the sky to the earth. ... At first sight, 
on reading the description of Mount Meru furnished 
by the Puranas, it appears overcharged with so 
many purely mythological features that one hesi- 

The Earth of the Hindus, viewed from above. 

i. Uttarakuru. 5. Harivarsha. 

a. Hiranmaya. 6. Kimpurusha. 

3. Ramyaka. 7- Bharata (India). 

8. Ketumala. 9. Bhadrisva. 
4. SU-MERU in Ila-vrita. 

tates to believe that it has any basis in reality. To 
realize these descriptions one must represent one s 
self in the centre of a vast level and very elevated 
surface, surrounded by various mountain-ranges, a 
gigantic block, the axis of the world, raising its head 
to the highest point of the heavens, whence there 

Side View of Upper Hemisphere. 


falls upon its summit, on the North Pole, the divine 
Ganga, the source of all rivers, which there dis 
charges itself into an ideal lake, the Manasa-Saro- 
vara. . . . Meru, then, is at one and the same time 
the highest part of the terrestrial world and the cen 
tral point of the visible heaven, the two having 
been confounded through ignorance 1 of the real 
constitution of the universe : it is also, at one and 
the same time, the north pole and the centre of the 
habitable earth, Jambu-dwtpa, literally of the conti 
nent of the tree Jambu, the tree of life. Leaving 
the higher basin of the mountain in which its wa 
ters have at first collected the source, Ganga travels 
seven times round the Meru in descending from the 
abode of the seven Rishis of the Great Bear, to 
empty itself afterward into four lakes placed on four 
summits adjacent to this vast pyramid, and serving 
as buttresses on its four sides. . . . Fed by the 
waters of the celestial Ganga the four lakes in 
their turn feed four terrestrial rivers which flow out 
through the mouths of four symbolical animals. 
These four great rivers water as many distinct re 
gions, . . . and discharge themselves into four oppo 
site seas, to the east, south, west, and north of the 
central Meru. . . . The four lakes, the four rivers, 
and the four oceans are composed of different liq 
uids, corresponding to the four castes, and these 
latter, with which are connected all the nations of 
the human race, are reputed to have set out from 
the four sides of Meru to people the whole earth." 2 

1 Lenormant here follows the misleading arguments of Wilford in 
Asiatic Researches, vol. viii., pp. 312, 313. 

2 The Contemporary Review, Sept., 1881 : Am. ed., p. 39. Also 
Les Origines de I Histoire, torn. ii. I, ch. i. Compare Essai de Com- 
mentairf des Fragments Cosmogoniques de Btrose. Paris, 1871 : pp. 


A similar illustration of the power of a wrong pre 
possession is given us in the illustrious Carl Ritter, 
who after expressly declaring that " the numberless 
Puranas and their most diverse interpretations by 
the Pundits teach that Meru is the middle of the 
earth, and itself literally designates its centre and 
axis? 1 thereupon in the coolest manner imaginable 
proceeds to identify the same sacred height with 
the mountains of Central Asia. Still worse is the 
procedure of Mr. Massey, who after locating the 
Garden of Eden on Mount Meru, and saying explic 
itly, " The Pole, or polar region, is Meru? and again, 
" Meru is the garden of the Tree of Life? neverthe 
less tells us that in equatorial Africa beasts first 
grew into men. 2 Happier is the inconsistency of 
Mr. Lillie, who, despite his adhesion to the flat-earth 
theory of Hindu cosmology, still incidentally speaks 
of "the blissful Garden" as "at the Pole." 3 

300-328. Also Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. ii., p. 139. In his In- 
dische Studien, vol. i., p. 165, Weber speaks of the Aryan Indians be 
ing driven by a deluge from their home, and coming from the North, 
not from the West (as Lassen, i., 515 will have it), into India." 

1 " Die zahllosen Puranas und ihre verschiedenartigsten Ausle- 
gungen durch die Pundits lehren, dass Meru die Mitte der Erde sei, 
und selbst wortlich auch das Centrum, die Axe, bezeichne." Erd- 
kunde, Bd. ii., p. 7. 

2 The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., pp. 28, 162. 

8 Buddha and Early Buddhism. London, 1882 : p. 8. 



A us den Angaben iiber die Paradiesstrome und den Lauf derselben erhellt nun 
awk, wo -wir das Parodies selbst zu suchen haben, ndmlich im iiussersten Nor- 
den. FR. SPIEGEL. 

ACCORDING to the sacred books of the ancient 
Persians all the five-and-twenty races of men which 
people the seven "keshvares" of the earth de 
scended from one primitive pair, whose names were 
Mashyoi and Mashya. The abode of this primitive 
pair was in the keshvare Kvaniras, the central and 
the fairest of the seven. 1 Let us see if we can de 
termine its location. 

As a key to the old Iranian conception of the 
world let us investigate the nature and location of 
the " Chinvat bridge." This, like the Bifrost of the 
Northmen and the Al Sirat of Islam, is the bridge 
on which the souls of the dead, the evil as well as 
the good, leave this world to enter the unseen. 2 The 
investigation is in itself and for its own sake full of 
interest, for no writer on the ideas and faith of the 

1 Bundahish, ch. xv., 1-30. 

2 " This," says Professor Rawlinson, " is evidently the original of 
Mohammed s famous way extended over the middle of hell, which 
is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair, over which all must 
pass. " Ancient Monarchies, vol. ii., p. 339 n. Compare Sale s Koran, 
Prelim. Discourse, Sect. iv. Professor Tiele thinks " it was borrowed 
from the old Aryan mythology," and that it "was probably originally 
the rainbow." History of Religion. London and Boston, 1877 : p. 177. 


Mazdaeans has ever professed to be able to tell 
either the origin or true meaning of the myth. Most 
interpreters have either carefully abstained from all 
attempts at explanation, or have suggested that it 
probably refers to the rainbow or to the Milky Way, 
or to both. 1 To dispose of these suggestions, let us 
raise a few questions : 

1. Do we find in any part of the Avestan liter 
ature any evidence that the Chinvat Bridge pos 
sessed a curvilinear form ? 


2. Straight, or curved as a whole, were its two 
ends conceived of as on a common level ? 

No, for motion upon it in one direction is described 
as upward, and in the opposite direction as down 

3. Where was the upper end ? 

In the heaven of Ahura Mazda, the Supreme God, 
to whose abode the bridge conducts good souls. 

4. But where is this abode ? 

At the Northern Pole of the sky, as elsewhere 

5. Where is the earthward end ? 
It rests upon "the Daitik peak." 

6. Is this peak in Persia ? 

No ; it is part of a sacred mountain in Airan-vej, 
the Eden of Iranian tradition. 

7. And where is Airan-vej ? 

" In the middle of the world." 

1 "The Bridge of Souls cannot be always the Milky Way. . . . 
Supposing the myths which once belonged to the Milky Way to have 
been passed on to the Rainbow, the name of the former might also 
have been inherited by the latter." C. F. Keary, Primitive Belief. 
Lond., 1882 : p. 292. Comp. pp. 286-294, 347. Also Justi, Handbuch 
der Zendsprache. Leipsic, 1864 : p. Hi, Jw voce " Cinvant." 


8. In what keshvare ? 

In Kvaniras, the central of the seven divisions of 
the earth, and the one in which men and the good 
religion were first created. 

9. And in what direction from Persia was Airan- 
vej supposed to lie ? 

Far to the North. 

10. What natural " centre of the earth " is situ 
ated in that direction ? 

The North Pole. 

11. What other evidence is there that the Daitik 
peak is at the North Pole ? 

The fact that the mountain of which this is simply 
"the peak of judgment" is Hara-berezaiti, around 
which the heavenly bodies revolve, and which, as all 
allow, answers to the north polar Su-Meru of the 
Hindus. 1 

12. Then the Chinvat bridge extends from the 
North Pole of the heavens to the North Pole of the 
earth : what is its shape ? 

It is "beam-shaped" To quote the sacred book : 
" That bridge is like a beam, of many sides, of whose 
edges there are some which are broad, and there are 
some which are thin and sharp ; its broad sides are 
so large that its width is twenty-seven reeds, and its 
sharp sides are so contracted that in thinness it is 
just like the edge of a razor. And when the souls 
of the righteous and wicked arrive, it turns to them 
that side which is suitable to their necessities." 2 

1 " Like the Meru of the Indians, Hara-berezaiti is the pole and 
centre of the world, the fixed point around which the sun and the 
planets perform their revolutions." Lenormant, " Ararat and Eden," 
in the Contemporary Review, September, 1881. Am. ed., p. 41. 

2 Dddistdn-i-Dinik, ch. xxi., 2-9. West, Pahlavi Texts, ii., pp. 47-49. 
It is a curious coincidence that in Polynesian mythology Buataranga, 


The Chinvat bridge, then, is simply the axis of the 
northern heavens, the Pillar of Atlas, the Talmudic 
" Strength of the Hill of Sion," the column which in 
the Chinese legend the emperor vainly sought to 
climb ! In solving this long-standing problem we 
have at the same time unlocked the mystery which 
has hitherto attached to Bifrost and Al Sirat. 1 

But in locating our bridge we have located the 
Persian Eden. And the location is unquestionably 
at the North Pole. More than this, we have made 
clear the fact that in the mythical or sacred geog 
raphy of this ancient people the world of living men 
was originally the northern circumpolar hemisphere. 
The arrangement of the keshvares now becomes 
entirely clear. 2 Like the divinely beautiful Ilavrita 
varsha of the Hindus, " illustrious Kvaniras " holds 
the central position. In its centre, as in the centre 

" guardian of the road to the invisible world," is wife to Ru, " the 
supporter of the heavens." Gill, Myths and Songs of the South Pa 
cific. London, 1876: p. 51. So if Heimdallr s true station were at 
the top of the rainbow, his title "son of nine mothers" (Vigfusson 
and Powell, Corpus Poeticum Boreale, London, 1883, ii. 465) would 
have no such obvious significance as our interpretation gives. 

1 One of the etymologies of Chinvat makes it the " Bridge of the 
Judge." (Haug, Essays, 2d ed., p. 165 n.) As among the ancient 
Assyrians, and some other peoples, the pole star has been styled 
" the judge of heaven," it is possible that we have here at once the 
origin of the name and a new identification of the position of the 
mythical "beam-shaped" bridge. It is interesting to note in this 
connection that Heimdallr, the Norse god who stands at the top of 
Bifrost, is also, etymologically considered, the "World-judge" or 
" World-divider." Menzel, Unsterblichkeitslehre , i. 134- In Plato 
(Repub., 614 ff.) the judge stands at the bottom of the column. For 
grotesque survivals of the Bridge of Souls in folklore, see Tylor, 
Primitive Culture, Index. 

2 The diagram attempted by Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, 
p. 67, is inconsistent with the Bundahish, ch. v., 9. So must be every 
attempt to arrange the keshvares on a flat earth. 


of Ilavrita, is the holiest mount in the world. Di 
rectly over it is the true heaven. In this central 
polar country North and South and East and West 
would have no application ; but speaking from their 
own geographical standpoint as south of Airan-vej, 
the Persians located to the east of this holy central 
Kvaniras the keshvare Savah, to the west Arzah, to 
the south the keshvares Fradadafsh and Vidadafsh, 
and to the north Vorubarst and Vorugarst. 1 This 
gives a map of the northern hemisphere which in a 




The Earth of the Persians. 

1 Darmesteter transliterates the names as follows : " The earth is 
divided into seven Karshvares, separated from one another by seas 
and mountains impassable to men. Arezahi and Savahi are the west 
ern and eastern Karshvare ; Fradadhafshu and Vidadhafshu are in 
the south ; Vouruare.rti and Vouruar.rti are in the north ; flvzni- 
ratha (Kvaniras) is the central Karshvare. ^z/aniratha is the only 
Karshvare inhabited by man (Bundahish, xi. 3)." Darmesteter, The 
Zend-Avesta^ vol. ii., p. 123 n. 


plane polocentric projection may be represented as 
on the foregoing page, the polar centre of course 
being occupied by Hara-berezaiti. 

It would be a fascinating task to reinterpret the 
whole Avestan literature and mythology in the new 
light of this recovered geography and cosmology, but 
this would require a book of itself. It is worthy of 
remark that the Venidad expressly calls the earth 
" round," and apparently recognizes the existence of 
its two far-separated poles. 1 As we have seen, its 
Chinvat bridge or beam, which is also an idea so an 
cient as to be found in the Avesta itself (Farg., xix., 
30, et passim], is the axis of the world, conducting 
good souls by an upward " flight " into the north 
polar heaven of Ahura Mazda, but the evil by a fall 
" headforemost " into the south polar hell. 2 Airan- 
vej, or " Old Iran," was the most natural name in 
the world for the Iranians to give to the traditional 
birth-place of their race. 3 But all attempts to find it 
" on the banks of the Aras " or " in the far-off lands 

1 The Avesta (Darmesteter), i., p. 205 ; ii., pp. 143, 144. Compare 
Windischmann s version of the Farvardin Yasht, i. 3 : " die beiden 
Enden des Himmels." Studien, p. 313. 

2 Apparently through the passage forced through the earth by 
Aharman (Ahriman). See Z&d Sparam, ch. ii., 3, 4, 5. West, Pah- 
lavi Texts, vol. i., p. 161. Also Bwidahish, iii. 13. Rhode, Die hei~ 
lige Sage des Zendvolks, p. 235. Windischmann s translation of Bun 
dahish, ch. xxxi. (in Darmesteter numbered xxx.), seems especially to 
support this idea : " Ahriman und die Schlange werden durch die Kraft 
der Lobgesange geschlagen und hiilflos und schwach gemacht. Auf 
jener Briicke des Himmels, auf welcher er herbeilief, wird er in die 
tiefste Finsterniss zuriicklaufen. . . . Auch dies ist gesagt : Diese 
Erde wird rein und eben sein : ausser dem Berg Cakat-Cinvar wird 
ein Aufsteigen und ein Hinabtragen nicht sein." Zoroastrische Stti- 
dien, p. 117. Compare Plato s " chasms," with ways leading hell- 
ward and heavenward. Republic, 614. 

3 F. C. Cook, Origins of Religion and Language. London, 1884 : p. 


of the rising sun " 1 are entirely useless. Equally 
mistaken is the gloss which merely makes it " prim 
itively" the mythic land where the disembodied 
"souls of the righteous" are assembled by Ahura 
Mazda. 2 The same must be said of the assertion 
that "the real site of the Airan-vej in its ancient and 
original conception is to the east of the Caspian Sea 
and of Lake Aral." 3 By every particular of its de 
scription it is identified with the Daitik peak, with 
Hara - berezaiti, with the polar " river," the polar 
"tree," the polar " centre " of the upper hemisphere. 
It is simply the Arctic Eden of humanity remem 
bered as it was before the Evil One entered, and " by 
his witchcraft counter-created winter and the worst 
of plagues." 4 This being the case we need not won 
der that in a paper on "The Aryan Birth-place," 
read in January, 1884, before the Royal Society of 
Literature, Mr. C. J. Stone expressed his strong 
doubt of the current doctrine that the cradle of the 
Aryans was the upper valleys of the Oxus. 5 The 

1 Darmesteter, The Avesta, i., p. 3. 

2 Ibid., i, p. 15. 

8 Lenormant, The Contemporary Review, Sept., 1881 (Am. ed.), p. 
41. Pietrement, Les Aryas, locates it just east of Lake Balkach, in 
lat. 45-47. Grill is so bewildered by the number of attempted iden 
tifications that he pronounces the land a purely mythical one, and denies 
to the name all historic or geographic reality. Erzvater, i. 218, 219. 

4 Fargard, i. 3. The passage continues, " There are (now) ten 
winter months there, two summer months ; and those are cold for the 
waters, cold for the earth, and cold for the trees." This reminiscence 
of the on-coming of the Glacial Age at the Pole also appears in the 
Flood legend of the American aborigines, particularly the Lenni- 
Lenapi, or Delaware Indians. Rafinesque, The American Nations. 
Phila., 1836 : Song III. 

5 See also Dr. O. Schrader, Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte. 
Linguistisch - historische Beitrdge zur Erforschiing des indogerman- 
ischen Alterthums. Jena, 1883. Dr. S. formerly adhered to the 


cradle of the whole Aryan family will at last be found 
to be in " Airan, the Ancient," and this in the 
Arctic birth-place of man. 

theory of a Mid- Asian Aryan birth-land, but has been led to abandon 
it. Still more positive and emphatic is Karl Penka, who boldly lo 
cates the original home of the Aryans in Scandinavia. See his 
Origines Ariaccz. Linguistisch-ethnologische Untersuchungen zur dl- 
testen Geschichte der Arischen Volker und Sprachen. Vienna, 1883. 
Mr. John Gibb argues in the same direction, " The Original Home 
of the Aryans," in The British Quart. Review, Oct., 1884. 



We have here, even to the most minute details, an exact reproduction of the 
Aryan conception of Mount Meru, or Albordj, with its accessories. Here is the 
abode of the heavenly hierarchy, located on the summit oftJie Kharsak, or sacred 
mount which penetrates the heavens exactly in the region of the Pole star. REV. 

WE have already seen that the prehistoric inhab 
itants of the Tigro-Euphrates basin, called by some 
Akkadians, by others Sumerians, by yet others Ak- 
kado-Sumerians, had like other Asiatic peoples their 
Mountain of the World, on whose top was the celes 
tial Paradise, and around which sun, moon, and stars 
revolved. Our present task is to locate this moun 
tain more exactly, and to consider its significance 
for our hypothesis respecting the site of Eden. 

That the earth, as conceived of by this ancient 
people, was spherical is not at the present day ques 
tioned. With their ideas probably no archseologist 
was more familiar than the late Francois Lenor- 
mant, and he expresses himself as follows : " The 
Chaldees, says Diodorus Siculus (lib. ii., 31), have 
quite an opinion of their own about the shape of the 
earth ; they imagine it to have the form of a boat 
turned upside down, and to be hollow underneath. 
This opinion remained to the last in the Chaldaean 
sacerdotal schools ; their astronomers believed in 
it, and tried, according to Diodorus, to support it by 


scientific arguments. // is of very ancient origin, a 
remnant of the ideas of the purely Akkadian period. 
. . . Let us imagine, then, a boat, turned over ; not 
such an one as we are in the habit of seeing, but a 
round skiff, like those which are still used under the 
name of Kufa on the shores of the lower Tigris and 
Euphrates, and of which there are many represen 
tations in the historical sculptures of the Assyrian 
palaces ; the sides of this round skiff bend upwards 
from the point of the greatest width, so that they 
are shaped like a hollow sphere deprived of two 
thirds of its height [?], and showing a circular open 
ing at the point of division. Such was the form of 
the earth according to the authors of the Akkadian 
magical formulae and the Chaldaean astrologers of 
after years. We should express the same idea in the 
present day by comparing it to an orange of which 
the top had been cut off, leaving the orange upright 
upon the flat surface thus produced. The upper and 
convex surface constituted the earth properly so 
called, the inhabitable earth (ki) or terraqueous sur 
face (ki-a\ to which the collective name kalama, or 
the countries, is also given." 1 

It is well known that in minor details Diodorus is 
often found not altogether trustworthy. He was not 
a critical reporter. While, therefore, in the above 
quotation he has undoubtedly preserved to us one of 
the ancient Chaldaean similes, 2 by the use of which 
the true figure of the earth was taught, I can but 
think that the statement as to the hollowness of the 

1 Chaldaan Magic, p. 150. 

2 The figure was also used by the Egyptians, and other ancient na 
tions. See Wilford, in Asiatic Researches, vol. viii., p. 274. Also 
articles and works on " The Ark " and " Arkite Symbols." 


earth underneath is an unauthorized inference, sug 
gested by the hollow boat, and made by the compar 
atively uninstructed Greek solely upon his own re 
sponsibility. It is true that, in the same work from 
which the above extract is taken, Lenormant endeav 
ors to adjust Akkadian cosmology to such a notion 
of a hollow sphere, saying, " The interior concavity 
opening from underneath was the terrestrial abyss, 
ge, where the dead found a home (kur-nu-de, ki-gal, 
aralli). The central point in it was the nadir, or, as 
it was called, the root, uru> the foundation of the 
whole structure of the world ; this gloomy region wit 
nessed the nocturnal journey of the sun." 1 But noth 
ing can be more evident on examination than that 
this attempt involves the writer in at least three in 
consistencies : First, if the sun visits the interior of 
the earth at night, its proper orbit cannot be round 
and round the Mountain of the World to the north 
east of Babylonia, as our author elsewhere repre 
sents. Second, if aralli, the abode of the dead, is in 
the interior of the hollow earth, it cannot be to the 
northeast of Babylonia, as it is represented to be in 
the context. Third, if the earth was conceived of 
as hollow, of course its whole central portion was 
empty space; but according to this presentation its 
central point "was called the root, uru, the foun 
dation of the whole structure of the world." Surely 
the foundation of the world can scarcely have been 
supposed to be mere emptiness. To a layman in 
these studies this uru would much rather suggest 

1 Ibid., p. 150. It is worthy of note that the expression "root" 
of the world, or " root-land," is applied to the same subterranean 
region of darkness in Japanese mythology. See " Shintoistn," by 
Griffis in McClintock and Strong s Cyclopedia, vol. ix., p. 688. 


the antarctic Tap-en-to mountain of ancient Egyp 
tian thought, the Ku-Meru of ancient India. 

But it is time to return to the Akkadian, or Ak- 
kado-Sumerian, mountain of the gods. Again we 
quote Lenormant : " Above the earth extended the 
sky (ana), spangled with its fixed stars (mul), and 
revolving round the Mountain of the East (Kharsak 
Kurra), the column which joins the heavens and the 
earth, and serves as an axis to the celestial vault. 
The culminating point in the heavens, the zenith 
(nuzkti), 1 was not this axis or pole ; on the contrary, 
it was situated immediately above the country of 
Akkadia, which was regarded as the centre of the 
inhabited lands, whilst the mountain which acted as 
a pivot to the starry heavens was to the northeast of 
this country. Beyond the mountain, and also to the 
northeast, extended the land of aralli, which was 
very rich in gold, and was inhabited by the gods and 
blessed spirits." 2 

Here we have the " Mountain of the East " lo 
cated, not in the east, but in the northeast. Else 
where our author recognizes most fully the identity 
of this mount with the Har-Moed of Isaiah xiv. 14, 
and the difficulty of placing it anywhere but at the 
North Pole. 3 He adduces from the cuneiform texts 
no evidence whatever for a location to the " north 
east," and seems to fix upon that direction only as a 
compromise of his own. " Nous devons conclure " is 
his language. His only reason for thinking of any 
other position than one due north appears to be a 
cuneiform expression which seems to make Khar 
sak Kurra at the same time " the mountain of the 

1 Paku in the French edition. 2 Chaldaan Magic, p. 150. 

8 Fragments de B erase, pp. 392, 393. 


This, in reality, instead of being a rea 
son for searching among the mountains to the east 
of Assyria or Babylonia, is, when rightly understood, 
precisely an additional reason for looking to the 
north. 2 

One other statement in the extract calls for no 
tice. The writer seems to have anticipated that his 
readers would inevitably locate a mountain, described 
as "the column which joins the heavens and the 
earth, and serves as an axis to the celestial vault," 
under the celestial pole ; and believing that the 
cuneiform texts which locate the celestial pole di 
rectly over Akkad (or Akkadia), " the centre of the 
inhabited lands," to be inconsistent with such a loca 
tion, he introduces the remark that " the culminat 
ing point in the heavens " was " not the axis or pole ; 
on the contrary, it was situated immediately over 
the country of Akkadia, which was regarded as the 
centre of the inhabited lands, whilst the mountain 
which acted as a pivot to the starry heavens was to 
the northeast of this country." 

1 The following from his latest account of the mountain will be val 
ued : " La montagne des pays est le lieu ou resident les dieux. . . . 
Elle est situee au nord, vient de nous dire Yescha yahou ; a 1 est 
disent les documents cuneiformes, ou 1 expression accadienne garsag 
babbara= assyriene sad fit samsi, la montagne du levant, apparait 
comme synonyme de 1 accadien garsag kurkurra = assyrien sad ma- 
tati ; d ou nous devons conclure que c est au nord-est du bassin de 
1 Euphrate et du Tigre qu on la supposait placee. C est elle qui vaut 
a 1 orient, son nom accadien de mer kurra et son nom assyrien de 
sadti signifiant tous les deux le point cardinal de la montagne. Et 
le sens de ce terme est bien precise par la variante accadienne mer 
garsag, oil ce mot, dont le sens la montagne est incontestable, se 
substitue a son synonyme kur, dont la signification cut pu etre dou- 
teuse." Les Origines de VHistoire, vol. ii., I, p. 126. 

2 See Menzel, Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, Bd. i., chap 
ter entitled " Der Sonnengarten am Nordpol," pp. 87-93. 


From so eminent an authority one naturally hesi 
tates to differ ; but inasmuch as M. Joachim Menard, 
in a work as recent as the one from which we have 
quoted, while agreeing with M. Lenormant in mak 
ing Akkad the traditional " centre of the earth," dif 
fers from him in locating precisely in this central 
country " the mountain on whose apex the heaven of 
the fixed stars is pivoted," 1 we cannot avoid the 
conclusion that Lenormant s distinction between the 
zenith of Akkad and the celestial pole is based upon 
a misapprehension, and is productive only of con 
fusion. The solution of all difficulties is found the 
moment the mythological Akkad is made a cir- 
cumpolar mother-country, after which the Akkad of 
the Tigro-Euphrates valley was commemoratively 
named. 2 This supposition is made all the easier by 
three noteworthy facts : (i) that both the names 
Akkad and Sumir are not Assyrio-Babylonian, but 
loan - words from an older prehistoric tongue ; 3 
(2) that the etymological signification and appella 
tives of Akkad thoroughly identify it with the lofty 
country at the north polar summit of the earth ; 4 

1 " Le pays d Akkad est regarde, d apres les plus antiques tradi 
tions, comme le centre de la terre ; c est la que s eleve la montagne 
sur la cime de laquelle pivote le ciel des etoiles fixes." Babylone et 
la Chaldee. Paris, 1875 : P- 4 6 - 

2 Compare the primitive name of Babylon, Tin-tir-ki, " Place of 
the Tree of Life." Lenormant, Beginnings of History, p. 85. 

3 " II est certain que les mots Sumir et Akkad n appartiennent pas 
a la langue assyro-chaldeenne. Us sont propres a une langue anteri- 
eure ; et nous savons, par les explications memes des Assyriens, que 
Akkad veut dire montagne. " Menant, Babylone et la Chaldee. 
Paris, 1875 : P- 47- 

4 " Akkad is bovendien zeker een hoog land, geen lage vlakte bij de 
zee, zooals ook een glosse het door tilla, hoogte, verklaart." C. P. 
Tiele, Is Sumer en Akkad hetzelfde ah Makan en Melucha ? Am 
sterdam, 1883 : p. 6. Compare last preceding note : Akkad = " mon- 


and (3) that recently discovered tablets are compel 
ling the Assyriologists to recognize two Akkads, 
one in the Tigro-Euphrates valley and one much 
farther to the North, though as yet none of these 
scholars have looked as far in that direction as to 
the Pole. 1 

If further proof were needed that the Kharsak 
Kurra of the earliest inhabitants of Mesopotamia 
was identical with the north polar World-mountain 
of Egypt and the surrounding Asiatic nations, it 
would be found on investigating their conceptions of 
the region of the disembodied dead and their notion 
of a mountain of the rulers of the dead antipodal to 
the mount of the gods. The Akkadians, like the 
ancients generally, conceived of the realm of the 
dead as located to the South. Their underworld be 
ing simply the under or southern hemisphere of the 
earth, they could not place it in any other direction. 
In naming the cardinal points the Akkadians there 
fore called the South "\hefunereal point." 2 In this 
quarter was located the mount of the rulers of the 

tagne." Also Smith, The Phonetic Values of the Cuneiform Charac 
ters. London, 1871 : p. 17. 

1 See Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaology, London, 
Nov.-Dec., 1 88 1. "Mr. Pinches, in a further communication on the 
"Paris Tablet [in cuneiform characters, but supposed to be Cappado- 
cian in origin], observes : The question of the original home of the 
Akkadians is affected thereby. ... As it seems that the country north 
of Assyria was also called Akkad, as well as the northern part of 
Babylonia, the neighborhood of Cappadocia as the home of the Ak 
kadian race may be regarded as a very possible explanation, etc. " 
Brown, Myth of Kirkt. London, 1883 : p. 87. Finzi, in his Carta 
del Mondo conosciuto dagli Assiri tracciata secondo le inscrizioni cunei- 
formi, does not venture to locate either Akkad or Kharsak Kurra. 

2 Chaldaan Magic, Eng. ed., p. 168, 169. Compare F. Finzi, Ri- 
cerche per lo Studio delV Antichita Assira. Turin, 1872 : p. 109 
note 1 8. 


dead. It was the under or south polar projection 
of the earth. It corresponded with the south polar 
mount of demons in Hindu and in Egyptian thought. 
Even Lenormant, whose mistake in locating the 
mount of the gods in the East, logically leads to 
the mistake of locating this mount of the rulers of 
the dead in the West, still unconsciously gives evi 
dence as to the true location by stating that it is 
"situated in the low-down portions of the earth." 1 
And elsewhere he has told us that in the Akkadian 
language to descend and to go southward were sy 
nonymous expressions. 2 

With Professor Friedrich Delitzsch, then, we lo 
cate the Akkadian Kharsak Kurra at the North. 3 
Once make the primeval Akkad the equivalent of 
Ilavrita in Hindu, or of Kvaniras in Iranian, mythol 
ogy, and all is perfectly plain and self-consistent. 
The primitive Akkad is now "the centre of all 
lands " in the same sense in which Ilavrita and 
Kvaniras are in their respective systems. As in 
both these systems the mount of the gods is in the 
centre of this central country, so is Kharsak Kurra. 
Su-Meru and Hara-berezaiti and Kwen-lun are 
each exactly under the Pole-star, having it in their 
zenith ; the same is true of Kharsak Kurra. As 
every splendor of a divine abode crowns the top of 
all the former, so is the summit of Kharsak resplen 
dent beyond description. As the sun, moon, and 
stars revolve around the Hindu and Iranian and 
Chinese mounts, so is Kharsak the point " on which 

1 " Situee dans les parties basses de la terre." Origines, torn, ii 
i, p. 134- 

2 The Beginnings of History, p. 313 n. 4. 
1 Wo lag das Paradies ? p. 1 21. 


the heaven of the fixed stars is pivoted." Moreover 
from its top flows that Eden river, which, like Gunga 
and Ardvi-Sura, waters the whole earth. 1 

Under these circumstances the candid reader will 
probably be prepared to agree with the statement 
of Mr. Miller which we have made the motto to this 
chapter, and to say with Gerald Massey, only with 
better understanding than his, "The cradle of the 
Akkadian race was the Mountain of the World/ 
that Mount of the Congregation in the thighs of 
the North. . . . The first mount of mythology was 
the Mount of the Seven Stars, Seven Steps, Seven 
Stages, Seven Caves, which represented the celestial 
North as the birth-place of the initial motion and 
the beginning of time. This starting-point in 
heaven above is the one original for the many copies 
found on the earth below. . . . The Akkadians date 
from Urdhu, the district of the northern Mountain 
of the World." 2 

1 Of this celestial source Lenormant speaks as follows : " . . . et 
la fontaine divine Ghetim-kour-kou de la montagne des pays des Chal- 
deens. Cette derniere fontaine, dont le nom est accadien et veut dir 
las ource qui enveloppe la montagne sainte/ est dite fille de 1 Ocean, 
mar at apsi, et invoquee comme une deesse douee d une personal ite 
vivante, pareille a celle que revet chez les Iraniens Ardvicoura-Ana- 
hita. L existence chez les Chaldeens de la croyance a un cours d eau 
mythique d ou precedent tous les fleuves de la terre semble attestee 
par la mention d une riviere (dont le nom est malheureusement en 
partie detruit sur la tablette qui contient ce reseignement) laquelle est 
qualifiee ftumme na r i la mere des fleuves. " Origines, torn. ii. i, 
p. 133. Compare Siouffi, La Religion des Soubbhas ou Sabeens, Paris, 
1880, p. 7 n., where the Euphrates is represented as rising in a celes 
tial Paradise (Olmi Danhouro) under the throne of Avatha, whose 
throne is under the Pole star. 

2 A Book of Beginnings. London, 1881 : vol. ii., p. 520. 



According to the Kamite legend related by Diodorus, Osiris and I sis lived to 
g-ether in Nysa, or Paradise. Here there was a garden wherein the deathless 
dwelt. Here they lived in perfect happiness until Osiris was seized with the de 
sire to drink the water of immortality . Then he went forth in search of it, and 
fell. . . But an earlier couple than Osiris and I sis was Sevekh and Ta-urt, who 
as the two constellations of the seven stars revolving round the Tree, or Pole, were 
the primeval pair in Paradise. The Natural Genesis. 

THE mythical geography of the ancient Egyptians 
is as yet too little known to allow us to hope for much 
light from this quarter on the question of the site of 
Eden. Even their cosmology is little understood, 
and their scientific attainments are by many inexcus 
ably underestimated. So good a scholar as Mr. Vil- 
liers Stuart could recently write, " The Egyptians 
had not attained to a sufficiently advanced point in 
science to solve the problem of how the sun in his 
daily course, having sunk behind the western hori 
zon, returned to rise at the opposite quarter of the 
heavens." 1 Nevertheless, as we desire to test our 
hypothesis as far as possible by all most ancient tra 
ditions and myths, whether favorable or unfavorable, 
we must inquire whether anything can be ascer 
tained as to the ideas of the ancient Egyptians touch- 

1 Nile Gleanings. London, 1879 : p. 262. This is as bad as the 
declaration of Lauer : " Und so glaube ich dass auch Homer nie 
daran gedacht hat, wie die Sonne wieder aus dem Westen in den Osten 
gelange." Nachlass. Berlin, 1851 : vol. i., p. 317. 


ing the form of the earth and the theatre of man s 
first history. 

The leading features of Egyptian cosmology, as 
interpreted by the present writer, are in perfect ac 
cord with the cosmological ideas of other ancient 
nations as described in chapter first of the present 
division. They may be briefly expressed in the six 
following theses : 

1. That in ancient Egyptian thought the earth 
was conceived of as a sphere, with its axis perpen 
dicular and its North Pole at the top. 

2. That in the earliest time Amenti was conceived 
of neither as a cavern in the bowels of the earth, 
nor as a region of the earth to the West, on the 
same general plane as the land of Egypt, but was 
simply the under or southern hemisphere of the 
earth, conceived of as just described. 

3. That the Tat pillar symbolized the axis of the 
world (heaven and earth) upright in space. 

4. That Ta nuter, whatever its later applications, 
originally signified the extreme northern or topmost 
point of the globe, where earth and heaven were fa 
bled to meet. 

5. That Cher-nut er was the inferior celestial hemi 
sphere underarching Amenti. 

6. That Hes and Nebt-ha (Isis and Nephthys) were 
respectively goddesses of the North and South poles, 
or of the northern and southern heavens. 1 

Assuming now, with Chabas, Lieblein, Lefevre, 
and Ebers, that the earth of the ancient Egyptians, 

1 In a brief communication published in T/ie Independent, New 
York, Feb. 8, 1883, the critical attention of Egyptologists was respect 
fully invited to these theses. Since that time much new evidence of 
their correctness has come to light. See, for example, the new The 
saurus Inscriptionum of Brugsch, pp. 176, 177, et passim. 


like that of the ancient Asiatic nations, was spherical, 
what was their conception of its northern terminus ? 
In chapter first of this Part, some indication has 
been already given. But our present investigation 
demands a fuller answer to this question. Turning 
to the great work of Brugsch on the " Geographical 
Inscriptions of the Old -Egyptian Monuments," we 
find that the Egyptians considered the farthest limit 
in the North to be "the four pillars or supports of 
heaven." l The fact that these four supports of 
heaven, instead of being situated in four opposite 
directions from Egypt, are all in the farthest North, 
is very significant. It shows that though the people 
might speak of heaven as supported on four pillars, 
it is not to be inferred therefrom that they conceived 
of the earth as flat, and of the sky as a flat Oriental 
roof one story above it. 2 Brugsch himself, though 
writing upon the supposition that the Egyptians 
earth was flat, avoids this mistake. His inference, 
coming from one who had a traditional wrong theory 
to support, is most interesting and valuable. He 
says, " Inasmuch as these four supports of heaven, 
the northern limit of the earth as known to the 
Egyptians, nowhere else occur as name of people, 
land, or river, it seems to me most probable that we 
have herein the designation of a high mountain 
which was perhaps characterized by four peaks, or 

1 " Die Ansicht von den Enden der Welt ist eine uralte und vielen 
Volkern gemeinsame. . . . Als die ausserste Grenze im Siiden gait 
den Egyptern das Meer CSar) und der Berg ap-en-to oder tap-en-to^ 
wortlich das Horn der Welt ; als die ausserste Grenze im Norden 
dagegen die vier Stiitzen des Himmels. " Geographische Inschriften, 
Bd. ii., p. 35. Compare Taylor s Pausanias y vol. iii., 255, bot. 

2 Maspero, Les Contes Populaires de FEgypte Andenne. Paris, 
1882 : pp. Ixi.-lxiii. 


which consisted of four ranges, from which pecu 
liarity it received its name. Like all peoples of an 
tiquity, at least all those whose literature has 
come down to us, the Egyptians conceived of the 
earth as rising toward the North, so that at last at 
its northernmost point it joined the sky and sup 
ported it." 1 

In the Buddhist conception of Meru, as given in 
chapter first of this Part, we have precisely the four- 
peaked, heaven-supporting mountain which Brugsch 
here describes : " Each of the four corners of the 
mountain-top has a peak seven hundred yojanas 
high." It is not impossible that in the four dwarfs 
which support the dome of the modern Buddhist 
temple we have a far-off survival of ancient Egypt s 
" four supports of heaven." Certainly the Buddhist 
temple-roofs symbolize the circumpolar heaven, 2 and 
a recent author, touching upon the latter s mytholog 
ical support, writes as follows : " This prop passing 
through the earth and the heavens at the pole, indi 
cated as we have seen by the Alpha of Draco, be 
came the nail of the old astronomers, the point 
round which all nature revolved. Between earth 
and the celestial pole the prop idea was again 
brought forward as the central column of a huge 
conical mountain, Mount Meru, guarded at each 
cardinal point by a mighty king. The four dwarfs 
propping up some of the columns in the old Bud 
dhist temples are evidently these four kings. . . . 
When the prop pierced the highest heaven it was a 
spire called the * tee, and in Nepal it is confessedly 

1 Geographische Inschriften^ Bd. ii., p. 37. 

2 Koeppen, Die Religion dcs Buddhas, ii. 262. 


in all the temples the symbol of Adi Buddha, the 
supreme, in his heavenly garden, Nandana grove." l 

But returning from this merely curious question, 
we remind ourselves that we have seen reason to 
believe that the ancient Egyptians conceived of the 
earth as a sphere, with a heaven-supporting moun 
tain in the extreme North. In the extreme South 
was another mountain, "The Horn of the World," 
represented as of incredible height (eight atur or 
stadia). 2 This corresponds so perfectly with the 
earth of the Puranas, with its Su-Meru and Ku-Meru, 
that we are irresistibly impelled to inquire whether 
the parallelism extends any farther. 

We take the question of the direction of the abode 
of the dead. All agree that in Indian thought the 
abode of the dead is in the South. So was it in the 
thought of the ancient Egyptian. The recently dis 
covered epitaph of Queen Isis-em-Kheb, mother-in- 
law of Shishak, king of Assyria (circa 1000 B. c.), 
thus reads : " She is seated all beautiful in her place 
enthroned, among the gods of the South she is 
crowned with flowers. She is seated in her beauty 
in the arms of Khonsou, her father, fulfilling his 
desires. He is in Amenti, the place of departed 
spirits." 3 

Again, in the mythological earth of India, the 
abode of the dead, being the southern or under hemi 
sphere, is looked upon as inverted. Viewed from 
the standpoint of gods and men, it is bottom up 
ward, and its inhabitants move about head down- 

1 Lillie, Buddha and Early Buddhism, p- 50. 

2 See first quotation from Brugsch above. 

3 Villiers Stuart, The Funeral Tent of an Egyptian Queen. Lon 
don, 1882 : p. 34. See also " Homer s Abode of the Dead " in the 


ward. 1 The same is true of Amenti, the Egyptian 
underworld, and of its inhabitants. 2 

Again, in Hindu thought all deadly influences pro 
ceed from the South, the abode of death ; all benefi 
cent and life-giving influences from the North. The 
same is true in ancient Egyptian thought. "It is 
curious," says the English editor of Lenormant s 
" Chaldaean Magic," 3 "it is curious that in Egypt 
all good and healing and life proceeded from the 
West, the land of the setting sun, and all evil from 
the East the land of its rising." The statement is 
" curiously " incorrect. The North is the sacred 
quarter, and from the North come life and blessing. 
The North wind is the very breath of God. It 
"proceeds from the nostrils of Knum and enlivens 
all creatures." 4 It is one of the high prerogatives 
of the blessed dead to "breathe the delicious air 
of the North wind." 5 That they may breathe it is 

1 " The gods in heaven are beheld by the inhabitants of hell as 
they move with their heads inverted." Garrett, Classical Dictionary 
of India : Art. " Naraka." 

2 See Brugsch, Hieroglyphischcs Demotisches Wbrterbuch, S. 1331, 
sub v. " Set," " Set-mati." Also chapter first of the present division. 

8 Page 51. Undoubtedly there are Egyptian texts in which the 
sun-god Ra is represented as going into " the land of life " at his set 
ting (see Brugsch, Thesattrtis Inscriptionum sEgyptiacarum,\ste Abth., 
Leipsic, 1883: p. 29), but this is made quite intelligible by Menzel s 
" Sonnengarten am Nordpol " in his Vorchristliche Unsterblichkeits- 

4 Records of the Past, vol. iv., p. 67. 

5 Ibid., p. 3. Compare the expression, " Give the sweet breath 
of the North wind to the Osiris," Book of the Dead (Birch), p. 170 ; 
also 311, 312. Gerald Massey remarks, "In Egyptian the Meh is 
the North, the quarter of the waters, and the name of the cool wind 
that breathed new life." The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., p. 168. The 
following very curious passage from the apocryphal Book of Adam, 
translated from the Ethiopic by Dillmann, shows that this ancient 
Egyptian idea survived to a very late period: "Als der Hcrr den 



the prayer of bereaved affection. 1 The " Fields of 
Peace " are at the North of the fields of Sanehem-u. 2 
There is the proper home of the great god of whom 
the Nile poet sang: 

" There is no building that can contain him ! 

" There is no counselor in thy heart ! 

" Thy youth delight in thee, thy children ; 

" Thou directest them as King. 

" Thy law is established in the whole land, 

" In the presence of thy servants in the North" 

Of the same god it is said : 

" He createth all works therein, 
" All writings, all sacred words, 
" All his implements, in the North." 3 

As yet no texts have been discovered which rep 
resent the earliest Egyptian ideas of the origin of 
man and the location of his birth-place. One proof, 
however, that man was conceived of as having pro 
ceeded from the " Land of the Gods " in the North 
appears in connection with the myth of the reign of 
Ra. In Egyptian mythology, the reign of Ra was 
like the primeval reign of Kronos ; the myth of it 
was a reminiscence of the sinless Golden Age. 4 But 

Adam austrieb, wollte er ihn auf der Siidgrenze des Gartens nicht 
wohnen lassen, weil der Nordivind, wann er darin bldset, den siissen 
Geruch der Bdume des Gartens nach der Siidgegend hinfiikrt ; und 
Adam sollte nicht die siissen Geriiche der Baume riechen, und die 
Uebertretung vergessen, und sich iiber das was er gethan trosten, 
und durch den Geruch der Baume befriedigt die Busse flir die Ueber 
tretung unterlassen. Vielmehr liess der barmherzige Gott den Adam 
in der Gegend westlich vom Garten wohnen." Dillmann, S. 13. 

1 "Dans le papyre Boulak No. 3,4, 16, on souhait a un defunt: 
les agreables vents du Nord dans la AM Hi. " Brugsch, Diction 
naire Geographique. Leipsic, 1879 : p. 37. 

2 Records of the Past, vol. iv., p. 122. 
8 Ibid., p. 101. 

4 Maspero, Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de V Orient, p. 38. 


in those primeval and perfect days men still dwelt 
in the country of the gods, which country, as we 
have seen, was in the highest North. And because 
they still occupied the heaven - touching mountain, 
the rebellion by which they forfeited their estate of 
blessedness is expressly described as "on the moun 
tain," 1 an object not easily found in Egypt. 

The same teaching is further supported by the 
language of certain scholars, who, without any par 
ticular theory as to the location of Eden, have held 
that the hieroglyph used in Egyptian texts as the 
determinative prefix to names designating civilized 
lands, ^, is simply a pictorial symbol of primitive 

Eden divided by its fourfold river. 2 A writer in 
the Edinburgh Review, said to be Mr. Walter Wil- 
kins, remarks : " The Buddhists and Brahmans, who 
together constitute nearly half the population of the 
world, tell us that the decussated figure of the cross, 
whether in a simple or complex form, symbolizes 
the traditional happy abode of their primeval ances 
tors, the Paradise of Eden toward the East, as we 
find it expressed in the Hebrew. And, let us ask, 
what better picture or more significant characters, 

1 " Wahrend er, der Gott der das Sein selber ist, seines Konig- 
thums waltete, da waren die Menschen und die Gotter zusammen 
vereint." Brugsch, Die neiie Weltordmmg nach Vertilgung des siin- 
digen Menschengeschlechts. Berlin, 1881 : p. 20. Naville, The De 
struction of Mankind by Ra. Records of the Past, vol. vi., pp. 103 seq. 

2 Sometimes this hieroglyph is accompanied by the character sig 
nifying "God" or "divine." In such connection Brugsch renders it 
" heilige Wohnstatte." On other renderings, however, see the Zeit- 
schrift fur agyptische Sprache. 1880: p. 25. See also Ceramic Art in 
Remote Ages ; with Essays on the Symbols of the Circle, the Cross and 
Circle, the Circle and Ray Ornament, the Fylfot, and the Serpent, shoiu- 
ing their relation to the primitive forms of Solar and Nattire Wor 
ship. By John B. Waring. London, 1874: Plates 33-37. 


in the complicated alphabet of symbolism, could 
have been selected for the purpose than a circle and 
a cross ? the one to denote a region of absolute 
purity and perpetual felicity, the other those four 
perennial streams that divided and watered the sev 
eral quarters of it." 1 Mr. Wilkins claims that in 
the Egyptian hieroglyph above given we have the 
same symbol as in the Indian Swastika. It was 
therefore primeval Paradise which was commemo 
rated by "the sacred circular cakes of the Egyp 
tians, composed of the richest materials, of flour, 
of honey, of milk, and with which the serpent and 
bull, as well as the other reptiles and beasts conse 
crated to the service of Isis and their higher divin 
ities, were daily fed, and which upon certain festi 
vals were eaten with extraordinary ceremony by the 
people and their priests." He continues, " The 
cross-cake, says Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, was their 
hieroglyph for civilized land/ obviously a land 
superior to their own, as it was, indeed, to all mun 
dane territories ; for it was that distant, traditional 
country of sempiternal contentment and repose, of 
exquisite delight arid serenity, where Nature, unas 
sisted by man, produces all that is necessary for his 

" This," says Donnelly, though arguing in favor of 
a mid-Atlantic island-Eden, " this was the Garden 
of Eden of our race. ... In the midst of it was a 
sacred and glorious eminence, the umbilicus orbis 
terrarum, toward which the heathen in all parts 

1 " The Pre-Christian Cross." Edinburgh Review, January, 1870, 
p. 254. Zockler did not think the primitive character of this sym 
bolism well established ( The Cross of Christ, p. 35) ; but the moment 
Eden is identified with the " middle country " of the Pole the natu 
ralness and primitiveness of the symbol become most easy of belief. 


of the world, and in all ages, turned a wistful gaze 
in every act of devotion, and to which they hoped 
to be admitted, or rather to be restored, at the close 
of this transitory scene. " 1 

In Part fifth, chapter fourth, it will be shown that 
the umbilicus orbis terrarum is indisputably the ter 
restrial pole. 

Finally, if, as Plato represents, the story of lost 
Atlantis was received from Egypt, and constituted a 
part of the priestly teaching of the dwellers upon 
the Nile, our next chapter will present us further 
evidence that the Eden and the antediluvian world 
of ancient Egyptian tradition were precisely where 
the tradition of other ancient peoples placed them, 
to wit, in the land of sacred memories in the far-off, 
faerie North. 

1 Donnelly, Atlantis, p. 322. 




In the Centre of the Sea is the White Isle of great Zeus, 
There is Mount Ida, and our race s Cradle. 

A. II that is beautiful and rare seems to come from the North. HERODOTUS. 

When transactions are of such antiquity it is not wonderful if the history should 
Prove obscure. PLUTARCH. 

The -writings that narrate these fables, not being delivered as inventions of the 
writers, but as things before believed and received, appear like a soft whisper from 
the traditions of more ancient nations, conveyed through the flutes of the Grecians. 

RESPECTING the origin of men there were among 
Greek writers, as Preller states, "very different opin 
ions." Part of this diversity he ascribes to a dif 
ference in the natural environment of the first in 
habitants : some, residing in the woody hills, would 
naturally think the first men came from these ; 
others, inhabiting a valley, would more naturally 
think of their ancestors as having come out of the 
water. The Asiatic-Greek belief that the first of 
the human race were made out of trees he calls 
" quite peculiar." 1 What if it should be found that 
all these notions were merely fragments of an old, 
old faith, according to which man originated on the 
mountain of all mountains, by the source of all wa 
ters, and under the tree of all trees ! 

However this may be, it is certainly very interest- 

1 Griechische Mythologie, i., pp. 56, 57. 


ing to note that in the Greek myth of Meropia, or 
Meropis, Renan, Lenormant, and others recognize 
the old Asiatic Meru. They hold that " the sacred 
expression /xepoTre? wOpwiroi originally meant the men 
sprung from Meru. " l Stephanus has the same ren 
dering in his " Thesaurus." 

In an advance chapter of his " Origines de 1 His- 
toire," Lenormant expressed himself on this point 
as follows : " I have stated above, in agreement 
with M. Renan, that the sacred expression /^oTres, 
as used among the Greeks to designate mankind, 
could not have originally been applied to them on 
account of their possessing the gift of articulate 
speech, as is pretended in the etymology of gram 
marians of late date, but as having proceeded from 
Meru. Such an explanation, the consequence of 
which is to carry back this name of the sacred 
mountain, the abode of the gods and the birth-place 
of mankind, to the most ancient period of Aryan 
unity, is corroborated, in a manner to my mind quite 
decisive, by the existence of myths which make the 
Meropes to be a special and autochthonic popula 
tion, of a date far back in the most ancient times, 
who lead a life of innocence and happiness, marked 
by extraordinary longevity (a feature in common with 
the Indian legends concerning Uttara-Kuru), under 
the government of a king, Merops, who is sometimes 
represented as preserving them from the Deluge in 
the same way as the Yima of the Iranians, and as 
sembling them around him to shelter them from the 
Flood, from which they alone escape. This myth 
is usually localized in the island of Kos, which re 
ceives the name of Meropeis, Meropis, or Merope. 

1 Lenormant, Origines, ii. i, p. 56. 


But the island of Siphnos is also reputed to have 
been called Meropia in virtue of a similar tradition, 
and Strabo speaks of a fabulous region of the name 
of Meropis, which was described by Theopompus, 
and which seems to have been placed near the coun 
try of the Hyperboreans. Merops is also given as 
a king of the Ethiopians ; the most pious and most 
virtuous of men, the husband of Klymene the mother 
of Phaethon, and consequently anterior to the catas 
trophe of the conflagration of the universe, by which 
the first human race, that of the Golden Age, is often 
said to have been destroyed. Or else the same 
name is given to a prophet king of Rhyndakos, in 
Mysia, who also receives the very significant appel 
lation of Makar, or Makareus, the happy. All 
this shows that the paradisaic myth of the Meropes 
was not peculiar to the island of Kos, but was cur 
rent elsewhere in the Greek world, and had under 
gone more than one localization there." l 

Plato s story of lost Atlantis, the island which 
the ocean-god Poseidon prepared for his son Atlas 
to rule over, is a fascinating picture of the ante 
diluvian world. Whether originating in Egypt, as 
claimed by Plato, 2 or inherited as a part of the 
legendary wealth of the Hellenes, it is of special 
interest to us in the present discussion ; and this 
for three reasons : 

1 "Ararat and Eden." The Contemporary Review, Sept., 1881, Am. 
ed., p. 44. Compare Bryant, Analysis of Ancient Mythology. Lon 
don, 1807 : vol. v., pp. 75-92. Also Samuel Beal : "It can hardly 
be questioned that the Buddhist cosmic arrangement is allied with 
Greek tradition as embodied in Homer." Buddhist Literature in 
China. London, 1882 : p. xv. 

2 " But, O Socrates, you can easily invent Egyptians or anything 
else ! " Phatdrus, 275 B. 


First, we have elsewhere shown that in oldest 
Greek thought Atlas belongs at the North Pole, and 
it is only reasonable to locate the kingdom of Atlas 
in the same locality. 

Secondly, some authorities have unconsciously 
placed Atlantis in just this polar position by identi 
fying its inhabitants with the " Hyperboreans." l 

Thirdly, Apollodorus and Theopompus expressly 
call the lost land Meropia, and its inhabitants Me- 
ropes ; i. e., according to the above authorities, "is 
sued from Meru." 2 

The fabled country further resembles Eden in the 
difficulties which scholarship of every kind has found 
in giving it a location in harmony with all the data. 
These difficulties are so great that some learned 
writers have located it as far to the West as Amer 
ica, others as far to the East as in the Sea of Azof, 
or in Persia. Even of those who have sought a 
place for it in the mid-Atlantic, some have pushed it 
up and some down, until one of the latest writers 
says, "All hypotheses are permissible." 3 His illus- 

1 Liiken, Die Traditionen des Menschengeschlechtes, p. 73. Bryant, 
Analysis of Ancient Mythology, vol. v., p. 157: "Pindar manifestly 
makes them [the Hyperboreans] the same as the Atlantians." 

2 " It was a common practice with the Greeks to disguise their 
own ignorance of the purport of a foreign word by supplying a word 
of a similar sound and inventing a story to agree with it : thus Meru, 
or the North Pole, the supposed abode of the Devatas, being consid 
ered as the birth-place of the god, gave rise to the fable that Bac- 
chus s second birth was from the thigh of Jupiter, because Meros, a 
Greek word approaching Meru in sound, signifies thigh in that lan 
guage." J. D. Paterson, " Origin of the Hindu Religion," in Asiatic 
Researches. London, 1808 : vol. viii., p. 51. 

3 Reference is had to M. le Marquis de Nadaillac, who, being him 
self uncertain, says, " Que PAtlantide ait ete situee vers le Nord, 
que ses limites aient ete recule es vers le Sud, il est difficile de rien 
preciser et tous les hypotheses sont permises." L Amerique Prehis- 


trious countryman, Monsieur J. S. Bailly, a century 
ago, came nearer the truth, when, in view of the 
perplexities attending all other locations, he cor 
rectly placed his lost Atlantis in the Paleo-Arctic 

Again, the antediluvian world was, of course, in 
the vicinity of lost Eden. But it is to be observed 
that in Hellenic tradition Deukalion is not a Greek, 
but an inhabitant of a country in the high North, 
a Scythian. Moreover the Scythians, as we know 
from Justin, were considered a very much more an 
cient people than the Greeks ; indeed, as the very 
oldest in the world. 1 Moreover, Scythia, like polar 
Meru and Hara-berezaiti, was conceived of as a lofty 
region from which all the rivers of the earth de 
scend. 2 All of which obviously connects the ante- 

torique. Paris, 1883 : p. 566. See Unger, Die versunkene Insel At 
lantis. Vienna, 1860. Donnelly, Atlantis: the Antediluvian World. 
New York, 1882. A " conjectural map " is given in Bory de Saint 
Vincent, VHomme, Essai Zob logique sur le genre httmain. The fJl- 
tima Teoria sobre la Atldntida, by D. Pedro de Novo y Colson, ap 
pended to the author s Viajes Apocrifos de Juan de Fuca, Madrid, 
1881, pp. 191-223, has no independent value, being based on the 
Studies of M. Gaffarel. An extended essay by E. F. Berlioux, is en 
titled " Les Atlantes : Histoire de P Atlantis et de P Atlas primitif," 
appearing in the just issued Annuaire de la Faculte de Lyon. Paris, 
1884, Premiere Annee, Fasc. i., pp. 1-170. 

" Scytharum gentem semper habitam fuisse antiquissimam." 
2 "The geographical indications of the great epic poem of the 
Mahabharata represent Meru rather as a vast and highly elevated re 
gion than as a distinct mountain, and make it supply all the rivers of 
the world with water. This system is pretty much in conformity 
with that which Justin has borrowed from Trogus Pompeius, and 
according to which Scythia, the country of the most ancient of man 
kind, without having, properly speaking, any mountains, is higher 
than the rest of the earth in such a way as to be the starting-point of 
all the rivers, editiorem omnibus terris esse, ut cuncta flumina ibi 
nata" Lenormant, The Contemporary Review^ Sept., 1881 (Am, 
cd.), p. 40. 


diluvian Deukalion with the primitive country at the 
Arctic summit of the globe. 

Finally, in Greek tradition, the first men lived 
under the beneficent rule of Kronos, father of Zeus, 
enjoying the blessedness of the Golden Age. But 
it is clear from Strabo and others that the seat of 
Kronos kingdom was in the farthest North. 1 Men- 
zel begins his chapter on " The Isles of Kronos " with 
these words : " The oldest of the Greek gods, Kro 
nos, we must conceive of as enthroned at the North 
Pole." 2 

We have now interrogated not only natural and 
ethnological science, but also the history, the tradi 
tions and myths of the eldest nations of the world. 
Nowhere have we found our hypothesis inadmissible; 
everywhere has it found remarkable confirmatory 
evidence. The aggregate of this evidence coming 
from such unexpected and entirely different sources 
is very great. It is so convincing that an advocate 
might well be content to leave the argument at this 
point, at least until some advocate of a different 
location shall have made out a better case than any 
one has yet done. Before leaving the subject, how 
ever, we deem it wise to glance back to chapter sec- 

1 Pherecydes describes Kronos as dwelling in that part of heaven 
which is " nearest the earth," / . <?., the northern. Strabo, vii., 143, 
places him in " the home of Boreas" It agrees herewith that Sancho- 
niathon, as preserved in the Greek version by Philo of Byblos, places 
the seat of his power " in the middle of the lands," ... in " a place 
near springs and rivers, where henceforth the worship of heaven was 
established." Lenormant, Beginnings of History, p. 531. Compare 
infra, Part fifth, chapters fourth and fifth : " The Navel of the 
Earth," and " The Quadrifurcate River." 

2 Unsterblichkeitslehre, i., p. 93. 


ond of Part second, and inquire whether the various 
points there hypothetically set forth as of necessity 
" marked and memorable features " of a north polar 
Paradise, if such an one ever existed, are capable 
of any not yet alleged confirmation from the fields 
of history and science. The results of this inquiry 
will appear in the Part next following. 









When the Sun the East forgets, 
When the Star no longer sets, 
When the sacred Rishis seven 
Wheel all night in highest heaven, 
When the sky-descending Sea 
Waters but a single Tree, 
When each Year is but a Day, 
What shall all these portents say ? 



E vidi stelle 
Non viste mai, for che alia prima gente. 


WE have already reminded the reader that in an 
Eden situated at the North Pole the stars, instead of 
seeming to rise and set as with us, would have had 
a horizontal motion from left to right round and 
round the observer. This appearance of the heav 
enly bodies could of course be found nowhere but at 
the Pole. If, therefore, we could anywhere in the 
world of ancient tradition find any statement of a 
belief that at the beginning of the world the move 
ments of the heavenly bodies were different from 
their present movements, and particularly if we 
should be able to find trace of a belief that the pri 
meval motion of the stars was in orbits apparently 
horizontal, this would certainly be a most striking 
and cogent and unexpected evidence that human 
observation of the starry heavens began at the Pole. 

Now it so happens that we have traces of just 
such a belief. In the tantalizing fragments of an 
cient lore, preserved to us in the pages of Diogenes 
Laertius, we find ascribed to the illustrious Greek 
astronomer Anaxagoras this remarkable teaching : 

"In the beginning the stars revolved in a tholiform 


Now to revolve in a tholiform manner is to re 
volve in a horizontal plane, like the 0o Aos, or " dome," 
of an astronomical observatory. Anaxagoras him 
self denned the motion more fully when he said that 
it was a motion, not vvro, underneath, but wept, around 
the earth. 1 

Anaximenes would seem to have had the same 
idea, for he is reported to have likened the primitive 
revolution of the sky to the rotating of a man s hat 
upon his head. Another explanatory expression 
(whether originating with Anaxagoras or with his re 
porter we do not know) is this: "At first the Pole 
star, which is continually visible, always appeared in 
the zenith, but afterward it acquired a certain decli 
nation." 2 

Here, then, we have as a doctrine of the ancient 
astronomers the singular notion that, in the begin 
ning of the world, the celestial Pole was in the ze- 

1 See " Des ficrits et de la Doctrine d Anaxagore " in Histoire de 
I* Academic des Sciences et Bdles Lettres de Berlin. Berlin, 1755 : vol. 
ix., pp. 378 ff. 

2 Diogenes Laertius, ii., 9 : T& S &ffTpa /car apx&s juei/ floAoeiSws 
evex^cu, #oTe Kara Kopu^V TTJS 77)5 r bv aei $cuv6fAfVOV e?rat Tr6\ov, 
vvrepov 5e r^v eyK\icriv Aa/Beti/. Letronne (Des Opinions Cosmogra~ 
phiques des Peres de F Eglise rapprochees des Doctrines Philosophiques 
de la Grece) says that the opinion cannot have been limited to the 
school of Anaximenes and Zenophanes. "Elle a du faire partie de 
la doctrine physique de plusieurs des sects anciennes." Revue des 
Deux Mondes. Paris, 1834 : p. 650. In this connection it is well 
worthy of note that in the Japanese cosmogony the predecessor or 
" father," of our present sun and moon is represented as beginning 
his activities in the new-created world by repeatedly performing in a 
horizontal plane a circumambulation of the " Island of the Congealed 
Drop ; " also that in Chinese tradition the first man held the primeval 
sun and moon one in each hand. Our latest Chinese writer upon the 
subject speaks of this as particularly noticeable. Revue des Deux 
Mondes, May 14, June i, and June 14, 1884. A few passages are cited 
in The Catholic World, December, 1884, pp. 320-323. 


nith, and that the revolutions of the stars were round 
a perpendicular axis. 1 What could have led an as 
tronomer to invent such a doctrine it is impossible 
to say. On the other hand, if it was one of the 
interesting and seemingly paradoxical traditions of 
the early postdiluvian world, it is perfectly easy to 
see how imperishable a story it would be, particu 
larly among the star-loving Chaldaeans and Babyloni 
ans, from whom the earliest Greek astronomers and 
scientists received no small share of their doctrines. 2 
And that the Chaldseans and probably the Egyp 
tians had precisely this idea is not a notion here 
advanced for the first time. 3 

Another interesting question now suggests itself. 
When and under what circumstances was this al 
leged "declination" of the Pole imagined to have 
taken place ? Was it gradual, or sudden ? Did the 
ancients suppose it to have resulted from a move 
ment in the regular order of nature, or from one in 

1 Since writing the above I have read Richard A. Proctor s " New 
Theory of Achilles Shield," and have been particularly struck with 
his argument, from the position of the aquatic constellations in the 
most ancient astronomy, that the celestial equator at the time of the 
invention of the constellations must have been " in a horizontal posi 
tion" Light Science for Leisure Hours. London, 1870: pp. 309-312. 

2 The instructor of Thales was a Chaldasan, a fact which writers 
on the early cosmological speculations of the Greeks have almost uni 
formly overlooked. See also L. von Schroeder, Pythagoras und die 
Inder. Leipsic, 1884. 

3 " II est de meme vraisemblable que les Chaldeens ont eu 1 idee 
d une destruction et d un renouvellement du monde, c est-a-dire, de la 
surface de notre globe, et conjointement avec cette destruction, d 
deplacement des corps celestes du firmament. . . . Diverses inscriptions 
dans les temples Egyptiens et des hieroglyphes . . . me paraissent 
aussi etre des essais de representer distinctement la catastrophe 
du deluge et le changement qui alors s est operS dans fancien del" 
Klee, Le Deluge. Paris, 1847 : p. 307. 



violation thereof ? Was it to them a normal and 
ever on-going change, or was it the record of a nat 
ural catastrophe ? 

Our hypothesis would lead us to expect the latter 
of these suppositions. 1 The only rational and cred 
ible explanation of the declination is to be found in 
a transfer of the theatre of human history from the 
circumpolar home to some land of lower latitude. 
Now if, during the prevalence of the Deluge, or 
later, in consequence of the on-coming of the Ice 
age, the survivors of the Flood were translocated 
from their antediluvian home at the Pole to the 
north slope of the " plateau of Pamir," the prob 
able starting-point of historic postdiluvian human 
ity, the new aspect presented by the heavens in this 
new latitude would have been precisely as if in the 
grand world-convulsion the sky itself had become 
displaced, its polar dome tilted over about one third 
of the distance from the zenith to the horizon. 
The astronomical knowledge of those survivors very 
likely enabled them to understand the true reason 
of the changed appearance, but their rude descend 
ants, unfavored with the treasures of antediluvian 
science, and born only to a savage or nomadic life 
in their new and inhospitable home, might easily 
have forgotten the explanation. In time such chil 
dren s children might easily have come to embody 
the strange story handed down from their fathers 
in strange myths, in which nothing of the original 
facts remained beyond an obscure account of some 
mysterious displacement of the sky, supposed to have 

1 Bailly in his Histoire de VAstronomie des Anciens inclines to the 
opinion that the ancient Egyptians thought the declination a gradual 
one, but Klee expresses decided doubt. Le Deluge, p. 301. 


occurred in a far-off age in connection with some 
appalling natural cataclysm or world-disaster. 1 

Now it is difficult to believe it a mere accident 
that in various ancient authors we find allusion both 
to an extremely ancient displacement of the sky and 
to its supposed original state. None of these allu 
sions have ever been explained by writers on the 
subject. One of them occurs in Plato s Timaeus, 
where, in language ascribed to an Egyptian priest of 
Solon s time, " a declination of the bodies revolving 
round the earth" is spoken of, and this declination is 
offered as the true explanation of the partial destruc 
tion of the world commemorated in the myth of 
Phaethon. As this destruction was by fire there 
would at first sight seem to be no connection be 
tween it and the destruction at the time of the 
Deluge ; nor is there in the context anything to sug 
gest such a connection. Fortunately, however, we 
have in Hyginus a fuller version of the myth, from 
which it appears that the Greeks supposed Deukali- 
on s universal flood to have been providentially sent 
to extinguish the fearful conflagration which Phae- 
thon s unskillful driving of the steeds of the sun had 

1 The only other plausible explanation of the facts now under con 
sideration would be that furnished by the long ago proposed but em 
phatically rejected theory, that in some distant geological age in con 
sequence of some cataclysm the axis of the earth s rotation was 
changed, bringing the new or present Pole into a region before tem 
perate or torrid. C. F. Winslow, M. D., in his pamphlet on The 
Cooling Globe, Boston, 1865, was one of the most recent theorists to 
favor this view. But see Maedler, Populdre Astronomie, p. 370 ss., 
who states that, according to the calculations of Bessel, the bodily 
plucking up of one hundred and fourteen cubic miles of the Himalaya 
mountains and the transfer of them to North America would change 
the position of the earth s axis less than one hundred feet. Still 
stronger statements are made in the paper read before the London 
Geological Society, Feb. 21, 1877, by Professor J. F. Twisden. 


occasioned. This makes the connection clear and 
direct. The Flood and the " declination of the 
heavenly bodies revolving round the earth " are at 
once brought into a true historic relation. 1 

In like manner, in the Bundahish, in the first five 
chapters, and in Zad Sparam s paraphrase of the 
same, it is stated that during the first three thousand 
years, before the incoming of the Evil One, " the 
sun, moon, and stars stood still," but as soon as the 
Destroyer of the good creation came he assaulted 
and deranged the sky, as well as the earth and sea. 2 
And remarkably enough, it is stated that as a result 
of this assault the Evil One mastered as much as 
" one third of the sky "and overspread it with dark 
ness. 3 Moreover, in the thirtieth chapter, in giv 
ing a prophetic account of the final restoration of 
the material world to its primeval state, there seems 
to be an allusion in verse thirty-two to a necessary 
resetting or readjustment of the celestial vault by 
the hand of its Creator. 4 

To all such facts, wherever found, we have in the 
hypothesis of an Arctic Eden and a transfer of the 
human horizon at the time of the Deluge to lower 
latitudes a perfect key. 

1 Compare Milton, Paradise Lost, x. 648-690. 

2 " The Aztecs said that when the sun had risen for the first time, 
at the beginning, it lay on the horizon, and moved not. Dorman, 
Primitive Superstitions. Phila., 1 88 1 : p. 330. Both of these reports 
look as if they had sprung from misapprehension of the original tradi 
tion given by Anaxagoras. 

8 West, Pahlavi Texts. London, 1880 : Pt. 5., p. 17. West trans 
lates uncertainly. Justi renders the passage, Er nahm vom Inneren 
des Himmels ein Drittheil ein." Der Bundahish. Leipsic, 1868 : 


4 West, Pahlavi Texts, Pt. i., p. 129. This last remark is based 
upon West s version ; it is not supported by Windischmann s. 



Such day 
As heaven! s great year brings forth. 


To the first men, if the Garden of Eden was lo 
cated at the Pole, there could have been but one day 
and one night in a year. Moreover, at the break of 
that strange day the sun must have risen, not in 
the East, as in postdiluvian times, but in the South. 
Do the traditions or sacred books of the ancient 
world afford any hint of such a sunrise and of such 
an Eden day ? 

A partial answer to this question is found in the 
beliefs of the ancient Northmen. A learned Danish 
writer pronounces it " remarkable " that the Scandi 
navian mythology informs us that, before the estab 
lishment of the present order of the world, the sun, 
which now rises in the East, "rose in the South" 1 

Equally striking confirmations appear in other 
mythologies. Turning to the second Fargard of the 
Avesta, we find the most ancient Iranian account of 
Yima, the first man and "the King of the Golden 
Age." A detailed account is also given of a certain 

1 " Ce qu il y a de plus remarquable dans la mythologie du Nord, 
c est qu elle nous reconte qu avant 1 ordre actual des choses (avant 
que les fils de Bor, c est-a-dire les dieux, eussent cree Midgard), le 
soleil se levait au Sud, tandis qu i present il se leve a 1 Est." Fre- 
derik Klee, Le Deluge, Fr. ed. Paris, 1847 : P- 22 4- / 


Vara, or inclosure, which as a safe habitation a 
kind of Garden of Eden he was divinely com 
manded to make. Then comes this singular ques 
tion and answer : " O Maker of the material world, 
thou Holy One ! What lights are there in the Vara 
which Yima made ? " 

"Ahura Mazda answered: There are uncreated 
lights and created lights. There the stars, the 
moon, and the sun are only once a year seen to rise 
and set, and a year seems only as a day." 1 Haug s 
version of the last clause is, " And they think that a 
day which is a year." 2 Spiegel s is the same, 3 al 
though in his Commentary he confesses himself per 
plexed as to the meaning of so remarkable a decla 
ration. "The really genuine words," he observes, 
" are very difficult." They are not so when once 
the key is found. 

That the East Aryans had the same idea is also 
evident from the Laws of Manu. Among this peo 
ple Yama the same as the Iranian Yima was 
the first man. His first abode, as we have seen, was 
at the North Pole, and at death he became a god, 
the guardian of the South Pole, at which was the 
region of the dead. But though the Hindus no 
longer associated him with the North at the time of 
the writing of this ancient book, they well under 
stood that Yama s primitive Eden in Ilavrita, around 
the north polar Meru, where the gods reside, has 
only one day and one night in the year. This is the 
language of the Code : " A year of mortals is a day 

1 Darmesteter s Translation, vol. i., p. 20. 

2 Haug s Essays on the Religion of the Par sis, 2d ed., p. 235. 

3 " Diese (die Bewohner) halten fur einen Tag was ein Jahr ist." 
Spiegel, Avesta. Leipsic, 1852 : vol. i., p. 77. See also his Commen* 
tar ilber das Avesta. Wien, 1864 : vol. i., pp. 78, 79. 


and a night of the gods, or regents of the universe 
seated around the North Pole ; and again their divis 
ion is this : their day is the northern and their night 
the southern course of the sun." 1 

In like manner, in the Surya Siddhanta we read, 
" The gods behold the sun, after it is once arisen, 
for half a year." 2 

Equally unmistakable is the language of the prob 
ably more ancient work, lately translated under the 
title of " The Institutes of Vishnu : " - 

" The northern progress of the sun is a day with 
the gods. 

" The southern progress of the sun is (with them) 
a night. 

" A year is (with them) a day and a night." 3 

1 Code of Manual. 67. 

2 Chapter xii., 74. 

3 The Institutes of Vishnu, translated by Julius Jolly. Ch. xx., I, 
2, 3. Sacred Books of the East, vol. vii., p. 77. I cannot help think 
ing that in these alternate approaches and recessions of the sun we 
have the true explanation of the origin of the old Rabbinical idea of 
half-yearly cold and heat in hell, this latter being located, as we have 
shown, at the South Pole : " The great Jalkut Rubeni gives us the 
following account of hell : Sheol is half fire and half hail, and 
therein are many rivers of fire. The seven abodes (or divisions) of 
hell are very spacious ; and in each there are seven rivers of fire 
and seven rivers of hail. The uppermost abode is sixty times less 
than the second, and thus the second is sixty times larger than the 
first, and every abode is sixty times larger than that which precedes 
it. In each abode are seven thousand caverns, and in each cavern 
seven thousand clefts, and in each cleft seven thousand scorpions ; 
and each scorpion hath seven limbs, and on each limb are one thou 
sand barrels of gall. There are likewise seven rivers of rankest 
poison, which when a man toucheth he bursteth ; and the destroying 
angels judge him and scourge him every moment, half a year in the 
fire and half a year in the hail and snow. And the cold is more in 
tolerable than the fire." Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, vol. 
:i., p. 345 (English translation, vol. ii., p. 52). According to the Sur 
ya Siddanta, the demons as well as the gods behold the sun for six 
months at a time. 


This strange notion is perfectly clear and compre 
hensible the moment we assume that the long-lived 
fathers and first regents of the human race originally 
dwelt at the North Pole, and that these, apotheosized 
and glorified in the imagination of later generations, 
in time became the gods which ancient nations wor 

Both in the Iliad and Odyssey the learned Anton 
Krichenbauer finds two kinds of days continually re 
ferred to. In what he considers the more ancient 
portions of the poems, the day is a period of one 
year s duration, especially when used in describing 
the life and exploits of the gods ; in what he con 
siders the more modern portions, the term has its 
modern meaning as a period of twenty-four hours. 
He quotes Lepsius as recognizing a similar "one- 
day year" in the Egyptian and other ancient chro 
nologies ; also the mention made of it by Palaifatos 
and Suidas. 1 

In all such hitherto unnoticed testimonies and 
we have not exhausted the list of them 2 we have 
new and singularly unimpeachable evidences that in 
the thought of these ancient peoples the land in 
which the generated gods and men alike originated 
was a land in which, as in our Polar Eden, a day and 
a night filled out the year. And if such was their 

1 Beitrdge zur homerischen Uranographie. Wien, 1874 : pp. 1-34. 
Comp. p. 68. 

2 Even the Bushmen of South Africa have the strange idea that 
the sun did not shine on their country in the beginning. Only after 
the children of the first Bushmen had been sent up to the [North 
ern ?] top of the world and had launched the sun was light procured 
for this [subterranean] South African region. Bushman Folk-lore, 
By W. H. J. Bleek, Ph. D., Parliament Report. Capetown and Lon- 
don, 1875 : p. 9. A similar myth was found among the Australian 


idea, whence, save from actual tradition, could they 
have derived it ? As cautious a scientific authority 
as Sir Charles Lyell, speaking of these cosmological 
and chronological traditions of the Hindus, says : 
" We can by no means look upon them as a pure 
effort of the unassisted imagination, or believe them 
to have been composed without regard to opinions 
and theories founded on the observation of Nature! 1 
Even where the tradition has become distorted or 
inverted among barbarians, the parallelism of the 
year and the day is not always lost. A curious in 
stance of this has come under the notice of the 
writer since the present chapter was begun : " In 
those days (in the world before the present) the sea 
sons were much shorter than they are now. A year 
then was but as a day of our time." 2 

1 Elements of Geology, nth ed., vol. i., p. 8. 

2 W. Matthews, " The Navajo Mythology," in The American An 
tiquarian and Oriental Journal. Chicago, July, 1883 : p. 209. Com 
pare the expression given by Garcia as from the Mixteque cosmog 
ony, in P. Dabry de Thiersant, Origins des Indiens du Nouveau- 
Monde. Paris, 1883 : p. 140 n. 2. 



. . . The shrine -where motion first began?- 
A nd light and life in mingling torrent ran, 
From whence each bright rotundity -was hurled, 
The Throne of God, the Centre of the World. 

CAMPBELL S Pleasures of Hope. 

EL walketh in the CHUG of heaven. Book of Job. 

To the first men, on the hypothesis of an Arctic 
Eden, the zenith and the north pole of the heavens 
were identical. Such an aspect of the starry vault 
the humanity of our late historic ages has never 
seen. Under such an adjustment of the rotating 
firmament, how regular and orderly would nature 
appear ! What profound significance would of ne 
cessity attach to that mysterious unmoving centre- 
point of cosmic revolution directly overhead ! As 
intimated on page 50, that polar centre must nat 
urally have seemed to be the top of the world, the 
true heaven, the changeless seat of the supreme God 
or gods. " And if, through all the long life-time of 
the antediluvian world, this circumpolar sky was 
thus to human thought the true abode of God, the 

1 The poet is speaking of the North Pole. The first three lines 
are illustrated by the closing chapters of Part third, above ; the last 
sums up the facts to be set forth in the present chapter. A word from 
Menzel is here in place : " Nysa wird in vielen griechischen Mythen 
als im Central punkt bezeichnet von wo das Weltleben ausging und 
wohin es zuriickkehrt. . . . Das ideale Nysa kb nnen wir nirgend 
anders als im Ausgangspunkte des Welt, im Nordpol suchen." Die 
vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, i. 65 ; also p. 42. 


oldest postdiluvian peoples, though scattered down 
the sides of the globe half or two thirds the distance 
to the equator, could not easily forget that at the 
centre and true top of the firmament was the throne 
and the palace of its great Creator." 

The religions of all ancient nations signally con 
firm and satisfy this antecedent expectation. With 
a marvelous unanimity they associate the abode of the 
supreme God with the North Pole, " the centre of 
heaven or with the celestial space immediately sur 
rounding it. No writer on Comparative Theology 
has ever brought out the facts which establish this 
assertion, but the following outline of them will 
suffice for our present purpose : 

First. The Hebrew Conception. In so pure and 
lofty a monotheism as that of the ancient Hebrews, 
we must not expect to find any such strict localiza 
tion of the supreme God in the circumpolar sky as 
we shall find among polytheistic peoples. " Do I 
not fill heaven and earth ? " is the language of Jeho 
vah. Nevertheless, as the Hebrews must be sup 
posed to have shared, in some measure, the geo 
graphical and cosmological ideas of their age, it 
would not be strange if in their sacred writings traces 
of these ideas were here and there discernible. 
Some of these traces are quite curious, and they 
have attracted the attention of not a few Biblical 
scholars, to whom their origin and rationale are en 
tirely unsuspected. Thus a learned writer on He 
brew geography, after blindly repeating the common 
assumption that "the Hebrews conceived the sur 
face of the earth to be an immense disk, supported, 
like the flat roof of an Eastern house, by pillars," 
yet uses such language as this : " The North ap- 


pears to have been regarded as the highest part of 
the earth s surface, in consequence, perhaps, of the 
mountain ranges which existed there." 1 

Another, touching upon the same subject, says, 
" The Hebrews regarded what lay to the North as 
higher, and what lay to the South as lower: hence 
they who traveled from South to North were said 
to go up/ while they who went from North to South 
were said to go down. " 2 

In Psalm seventy-fifth, verse sixth, we read, " Pro 
motion cometh not from the East, nor from the West, 
nor from the South." Why this singular enumera 
tion of three of the points of the compass, and this 
omission of the fourth? Simply because heaven, 
the proper abode of the supreme God, being con 
ceived of by all the surrounding nations, if not by 
the Hebrews themselves, as in the North, in the cir- 
cumpolar sky, that was the sacred quarter, and it 
could not reverently be said that promotion cometh 
not from the North. 3 It would have been as offen 
sive as among us to say that promotion cometh not 
from above. Therefore, having completed his neg 
ative statements, the Psalmist immediately adds, 
"But God is the judge; He putteth down one, and 
setteth up another." 

A curious trace of the same conception appears 
in the book of Job, in the eighth and ninth verses 

1 Rev. William Latham Bevan, A. M., in Smith s Dictionary of the 
Bible, Art. " Earth," vol. i., p. 633, 634 (Hackett s ed.). McClintock 
and Strong s Cyclopedia, Art. " Geography," vol. iii., p. 792. 

2 McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia, Art. " North," vol. vii., p. 
185. The Akkadians had the same idiom. Lenormant, Beginnings 
of History, p. 313. 

8 " A peculiar sanctity is attached to the North in the Old Testa 
ment records." T. K. Cheyne, The Book of Isaiah. London, 1870: 
pp. 140, 141. [See our cut : " The Earth of the Hindus," p. 152.] 


of the twenty -third chapter. In Old Testament 
times, the Hebrews and the Arabians designated 
the cardinal points by the personal terms, " before " 
for East, "behind" for West, "left/hand " for North, 
and " right hand " for South. Thus Job, in the pas 
sage indicated, is complaining that he can nowhere, 
East or West, North or South, find his divine judge. 1 
But, in speaking of one of these points, he adds this 
singular qualification, "where God doth work" This 
is said of the left hand, or North. It seems to be 
inserted to render peculiarly emphatic the declara 
tion, "I go . . . [even] to the left hand where He doth 
work, but I cannot behold Him." If at first blush 
such an apparent localizing of the divine agency 
seems inconsistent with Job s splendid descriptions 
of God s omnipresence in other passages, it should 
be remembered that we, too, speak of the omni 
present deity as dwelling " on high," and address 
Him as " Our Father which art in Heaven." 

A natural counterpart to this idea of a northern 
heaven would be a belief or impression that spiritual 
perils and evils were in a peculiar degree or manner 
to be apprehended from the right hand, or South, 
as the proper abode of demons, the quarter to 
which Asmodeus fled when exorcised by the angel. 2 
We cannot positively affirm that such a belief con- 

1 Adam Clarke, Commentary, in loc. The best explanation the 
oldest commentators know how to give is this : There were more hu 
man beings and more intelligent ones North of Job s country than in 
either of the three other cardinal directions ; especially was the North 
the seat of the great Assyrian empire ; but God desires to reside and 
to work preeminently among men, hence the language of the text ! 
Matthew Poole, in Dietelmair and Baumgarten s Bibeliverk, vol. v., 
p. 634. 

2 Tobit, viii. 3. Compare The Book of Enoch, xviii. 6-16; xxi. 


sciously prevailed among the ancient Hebrews, but, 
holding the possibility in mind, we find passages 
of Scripture which seem to stand out in a new and 
striking light. Thus, in case there was such a be 
lief, how great the force and beauty of the expres 
sion, " Because [the Lord] is at my right hand [the 
side exposed to danger] I shall not be moved." 1 
With this may be compared the confident expres 
sions of the one hundred and twenty-first Psalm : 
" The Lord is thy keeper : the Lord is thy shade upon 
thy right hand." So also in the ninety-first it is on 
the right hand that destruction is anticipated : " A 
thousand shall fall at thy side, and [or even] ten 
thousand at thy right hand ; but it shall not come 
nigh thee." Again, in the one hundred and forty- 
second it is said, " I looked on my right hand, but 
there was no man that would know me : refuge failed 
me; no man cared for my soul." Notice also the 
imprecation, " Let Satan stand at his right hand " 
(Ps. cix. 6), and the vision of Zechariah, where the 
great adversary makes his appearance on the right 
of the one whom he came to resist (Zech. iii. i). 

But as Satan here reveals himself from beneath 
and from the South, so to Ezekiel the true God re 
veals himself from above and from the North (Eze. 
i. 4). In that quarter was God s holy mountain (Is. 
xiv. 13), the city of the Great King (Ps. xlviii. 2), 
the land of gold (Job xxxvii. 22, marg.), the place 
where divine power had hung the earth upon noth 
ing (Job xxvi. ;). 2 Hence the priest officiating at 

1 Ps. xvi. 8. The reference seems all the more unmistakable 
since the next two verses speak of Sheol, or Hades. 

2 " Im Norden sind die hochsten Berge, vor alien der heilige Got- 
terberg Is. 14, 13. ... Vom Norden her kommt in der Regel Jeho- 


the altar, both in the tabernacle and later in the 
temple, faced the North. According to the Talmud, 
King David had an yEolian harp in the North win 
dow of his royal bed-chamber, by means of which 
the North wind woke him every night at midnight 
for prayer and pious meditations. 1 Probably it is 
not without significance that in Ezekiel s vision of 
the ideal temple of the future the chamber prepared 
for the priests in charge of the altar was one 
"whose prospect was toward the North." 2 (Eze. 
xl. 46.) 

vah." Herzog s Real-Encyklopddie, Art. " Welt," Bd. xvii., S. 678. 
" Like the Hindus, Persians, Greeks, and Teutons, . . . the She- 
mitic tribes spoke of a mountain of their gods in the far North (Is. 
xiv. 13 ; Eze. xxviii. 14) ; and even with the Jews, notwithstanding 
the counteracting influence of the Mosaic creed, traces of such a pop 
ular belief continued to be visible (Ps. xlviii.), the North being, e. g., 
regarded as the sacred quarter (Lev. i. n; Eze. i. 4)." Dillmann, 
in Schenkefs Bibel Lexicon. Leipsic, 1879 : v l- "> P- 49- 

1 " Daily from the four quarters of the world blow the four Winds, 
of which three are continually attended by the North wind ; otherwise 
the world would cease to be. The most pernicious of all is the 
South wind, which would destroy the world were it not held back by 
the angel Bennetz." Quoted from the Talmud by Bergel, Studien 
iiber die naturwissenschaftlichen Kenntnisse der Talmudisten. Leip 
sic, 1880 : p. 84. Compare Dillmann, Das Buck Henoch, Kap. 
Ixxvi. ; Ixxvii. ; xxv. 5 ; xxxiv. ; xxxvi, W. Menzel, Die vorchrist- 
liche Unsterblichkeitslehre, Bd. ii., p. 35, 101, 168,345. See also p. 177 
of this volume. 

2 At first view it seems strange that in the Middle Ages, in Chris 
tian Europe, the North should have come to be regarded as the special 
abode of Satan and his subjects, and that on the north side of some 
churches, near the baptismal font, there should have been a " Devil s 
Door," which was opened to let the evil spirit pass to his own place 
at the time of the renunciation of him by the person baptized. The 
simple explanation of this is found in the fact that the people were 
taught that their old gods, whom they had worshiped when pagans, 
were devils. Compare Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, p. 30,31. Con- 
way, in his Demonology and Devil Lore (London, 1879 : vol. ii., 115 ; 
i., 87), entirely misconceives the philosophy of the fact. A similar 
change seems to have occurred among the Iranians after Mazdeism 


Second. The Egyptian Conception. The corre 
spondence of the ancient Egyptian conception of 
the world and of heaven with the foregoing would 
be remarkable did we not know that Egypt was 
the cradle of the Hebrew people. The ancient in 
habitants of the Nile valley had the same idea as to 
the direction of the true summit of the earth. To 
them, as to the Hebrews, it was in the North. This 
was the more remarkable since it was exactly con 
trary to all the natural indications of their own 
country, which continually ascended toward the 
South. As stated in a previous chapter, Brugsch 
says, " The Egyptians conceived of the earth as ris 
ing toward the North, so that in its northernmost 
point it at last joined the sky! * In correspondence 
herewith the Egyptians located their Ta-nuter, or 
" land of the gods," in the extreme North. 2 On this 
account it is on the northern exterior wall of the 
great temple of Ammon at Karnac that the divinity 
promises to King Rameses II. the products of that 
heavenly country, " silver, gold, lapis-lazuli, and all 
the varieties of precious stones of the land of the 
gods." Hence, also, contrary to all natural indica 
tions, the northern hemisphere was considered the 
realm of light, the southern the realm of darkness. 3 

had transformed their ancient Daevas from gods to demons. Hence, 
while in portions of the Avestan literature (generally the older) the 
heaven of Ahura Mazda is in the North, in other portions the North 
is the world of death and demons. See Bleek s Avesta, i., pp. 3, 137, 
143 ; ii. 30, 31 ; iii. 137, 138, et passim. Darmesteter, Introduction, 
p. Ixvii., Ixxx. Haug, Religion of the Parsis, pp. 267 ff. 

1 Geographische Inschriften altagyptischer Denkmdler. Leipsic, 
1858 : vol.ii., p. 37. 

2 In one place Brugsch translates ta-nutar-t mahti " das nb rdliche 
Gottesland." Astronomische und astrologische Inschriften, p. 176. 

3 " To the twelve great gods of heaven are immediately subjected 


The passage out of the secret chambers of the Great 
Pyramid was pointed precisely at the North Pole 
of the heavens. All the other pyramids had their 
openings only on the northern side. That this ar 
rangement had some religious significance few stu 
dents of the subject have ever doubted. If our in 
terpretation is correct, such passages from the burial 
chamber toward the polar heaven intimated a vital 
faith that from the chamber of death to the highest 
abode of life, imperishable and divine, the road is 
straight and ever open. 1 

Third. The Conception of the Akkadians, Assyri 
ans, Babylonians, Indians, and Iranians. After 
what has been said in former chapters respecting 
the location of Kharsak Kurra, Sad Matati, Har- 
Moed, Su-Meru, and Hara-berezaiti, no further proof 
is needed that all the peoples above named associ 
ated the true heaven, the abode of the highest gods, 

the stars dispersed in infinite number through all the ethereal space, 
and divided into four principal groups according to the four quarters 
of the world. They were then divided into two orders more elevated, 
the one filling the northern hemisphere and belonging to light, to the 
good principle, the other to the southern hemisphere, dark, co\d,fu- 
neste, and to the sombre abodes of Amenti." Guigniaut s Creuzer, 
Religions de F Antiquite, vol. ii., p. 836. A very curious survival of the 
above conception is found in the Talmudic Emek Hammeleck. See 
Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, Stehelin s version, vol. i., p. 
181 ; comp. p. 255 ff. 

1 The association of Set with the constellation of the Great Bear, 
reported by Plutarch and lately confirmed by original astronomical 
texts (Brugsch, Astronomische Inschriften alttrgyptiscker Denkmaler, 
Leipsic, 1883, pp. 82-84, I 2I - I2 3)> seems at first view inconsistent 
with the south polar location of demons and destructive divinities. 
But the apparent difficulty is transformed into an all the stronger 
proof of the correctness of our theory when it is remembered that in 
the most ancient times Set " was not a god of evil," but the supreme 
world-sovereign from whom the Egyptian kings derived their author 
ity over the two hemispheres. " It was not till the decline of the Em- 


with the northern celestial pole. 1 In each case the 
apex of their respective mounts of the gods pierced 
the sky precisely at that point. To this day the 
Haranite Sabaeans the most direct heirs of the 
religious traditions of the Tigro-Euphratean world 

construct their temples with careful reference to 
the ancient faith. 2 Their priests also, in the act 
of sacrifice, like all ancient priesthoods, face the 
North. 3 

In the Rig Veda, ii., 40, I, we read of the amf- 
tasya n fib him, "the Navel of the Heavens." The 
same or similar expressions occur again and again 
in the Vedic literature. They refer to the northern 
celestial Pole, just as the expression ndbhir prthivyds, 
" Navel of the Earth," R. V. iii., 29, 4, and elsewhere, 
signifies the northern terrestrial Pole. To each is 
ascribed preeminent sanctity. The one is the holi- 

pire that this deity came to be regarded as an evil demon, that his 
name was effaced from the monuments, and other names substituted 
for his in the Ritual." Renouf, Religion of Ancient Egypt, pp. 119, 120. 
The expression navel or centre of heaven, as a designation for the 
northern celestial Pole, so common among ancient nations, would 
seem to have been current among the Egyptians also. Brugsch, 
Ibid., p. 122, 123. In the text as translated, however, there is some, 
obscurity. Compare p. 154. 

1 " There can be no doubt that the Heaven of Anu was the par 
ticular limited celestial region, centring in the Pole star and pene 
trated by the summit of the Paradisaical Mount." Rev. O. D. Mil 
ler, The Oriental and Biblical Journal. Chicago, 1880: p. 173. 

2 " L eglise n a que deux fenetres et une porte qui est toujours 
ouverte du oote du sud, afin que celui qui y entre ait 1 etoile polaire 
devant lui." N. Siouffi, Etudes sur la Religion des Soubbas oit Sa- 
beens, les Dogmes, leur Mceurs. Paris, 1880 : p. 118. 

3 " Cette position de la victime permet au sacrificateur, qui a le 
morgno appuye sur 1 epaule gauche, de se placer, pour remplir son 
role, de fa9on qu il ait la figure tournee vers 1 etoile polaire qui couvre 
Avather, tout en ayant en meme temps la tete de 1 animal a sa droite." 

Ibid., p. 112. 


est shrine in heaven, the other the holiest shrine on 
earth. That no translator has hitherto caught the 
true meaning of the terms seems unaccountable. 1 

In Buddhism, the heir and conservator of so many 
of the ancient ideas of India, the same notion of a 
world ruler with his throne at the celestial Pole 
lived on. 2 Very curiously, if we follow the author 
ity of the Lalitavistara, the first actions and words 
ascribed to the infant Buddha on his arrival in our 
world unmistakably identify the North with the 
abode of the gods, and its nadir with the abode of 
the demons. 3 Even the modern relics of the non- 
Aryan aboriginal tribes of India, as for example the 
Gonds, have retained this ancient ecumenical ethnic 
belief. 4 

1 In his heading to Hymn I., 185, 5, Grassman parenthetically con 
jectures that the Navel of the World therein spoken of may be " im 
Osten" but suggests no reason for its location in that or any other 
quarter. Not by accident, however, did the ancient bard elsewhere 
(X., 82, 2) place the abode of God "beyond the Seven Rishis," in the 
highest North. 

2 " The omnipotence of Amitabha is dwelt on in some fine gdthds. 
In the centre of heaven he sits on the lotus throne and guides the des 
tinies of mortals. " Arthur Lillie, Buddha and Early Buddhism. 
London, 1882 : p. 128. Compare also p. 7 : "This Pole-star (Alpha 
Draconis] was believed to be the pivot round which the cosmos re 
volved. . . . The symbol of God and the situation of Paradise got to 
be associated with this star." 

8 "Le Lalitavistara, 97, rapporte ces paroles d une maniere un peu 
differente : Je suis le plus glorieux dans ce monde, etc. Ensuite, 
apres avoir fait sept pas dans la direction du septentrion : Je serai 
le plus grand de tous les etres, puis apres sept pas dans la direction 
du nadir : Je detruirai le Malin et les mauvais esprits, je publierai 
la loi supreme qui doit eteindre le feu de 1 Enfer au profit de tous les 
habitants du monde souterrain. " Note to Professor Kern s Histoire 
du Bouddhisme dans f Inde. Revue de V Histoire des Religions. Paris : 
torn, v., nro. i, p. 54. Compare the less explicit account in Beal s 
Romantic History of Buddha, p. 44. 

* " In burying they lay the head to the South and the feet to the 


Fourth. The Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan, and 
Roman Conception. That the Phoenicians shared 
the general Asiatic view of a mountain of the gods 
in the extreme North appears from Movers learned 
work upon that people. 1 

The evidence that in ancient Hellenic thought, 
also, the heaven of the gods was in the northern 
sky is incidental, but cumulative and satisfactory. 
For example, heaven is upheld by Atlas, but the ter 
restrial station of Atlas, as we have elsewhere shown, 
is at the North Pole. Again, Olympos was the 
abode of the gods ; but if the now generally current 
etymology of this term is correct, Olympos was sim 
ply the Atlantean pillar, pictured as a lofty moun 
tain, and supporting the sky at its northern Pole. 2 
In fact, many writers now affirm that the Olympos 
of Greek mythology was originally simply the north 
polar " World-mountain " of the Asiatic nations. 3 

North, as the home of their gods is supposed to be in the latter direction. 
They call the North Deoguhr sometimes, and the South, Muraho, is 
looked upon as a region of terror ; so the feet are laid towards Deo 
guhr in order that they may carry the dead man in the right direc 
tion." Report of Ethnological Committee, quoted in Spencer s De 
scriptive Sociology, Div. I., Ft. 3, A., p. 36. 

1 Die Phb nizier. Bonn, 1841-56, vol. i., pp. 261, 414. 

2 " Here the idea is that the gods reside above this mountain [Su- 
Meru], which is, as it were, the support of their dwellings. This 
brings to our mind the fable of Atlas supporting the heavens ; the 
same idea may probably be traced in the Greek Olympos (Sanskrit, 
dlamba, a support )." Samuel Beal, Four Lectures on Buddhist Lit 
erature in China. London, 1882 : p. 147. Compare Grill. 

3 Compare A. H. Sayce, Transactions of Society Bib. Archeology, 
vol. iii., 152. Even in the mathematical cosmos of Philolaos, though 
the sedes deorum seems to be placed in Hestia, at the centre of the 
system, there is yet a steep way leading perpendicularly to the polar 
summit of the heavens, by means of which the gods and holy souls 
attain the diviner realm of all perfection : " Dii vero, quando ad con- 
vivium pergunt, turn quidem acclivi via proficiscuntur sub summura 


In prayer the Greeks turned towards the North, 
and from Homer we know that when they addressed 
the " Olympian " gods they stretched out their hands 
" toward the starry heavens ; " Greek prayers, there 
fore, must have been addressed toward the northern 
heavens. Entirely confirmatory of this is the ac 
count Plato gives of " the holy habitation of Zeus," 
in which the solemn convocations of the gods were 
held, and which, he explains, " was placed in the 
Centre of the World." l 

That this Centre is the northern celestial Pole is 
placed beyond question by a well-known passage 
from Servius Maurus, 2 where it is called the " domi- 
cilium Jovis" and where we are informed that the 
Etruscan and Roman augurs considered thunder and 
lightning in the northern sky more significant than 
in any other quarter, being " higher and nearer to 
the abode of Jove? 3 Countries in high northern 
latitudes shared in this peculiar sanctity. " Toward 

qui sub coelo est fornicem (arJoSa), et immortales quae dicuntur animae, 
quando ad summum pervenerunt, extra progresses in coeli dorso con- 
sistunt, circumlataeque cum iis animabus, quae comitari eas potuerunt, 
loca supra coelum spectant, ubi pura et absoluta veritas, cognitio vir 
tus, pulchritude, atque omnis omnino perfectio patet." Aug. Boeckh, 
" De vera indole astronomiae Philolaicas." Gesammelte Kleine Schrif- 
ten. Leipsic, 1866 : vol. iii., p. 288. Compare pp. 290-292. 

1 Critias, 120. 2 j nc id^ jj. 93. 

3 " Et ideo ex ipsa parte significantiora esse fulmina, quoniam altiora 
et viciniora domicilio Jovis" Compare Regell, " Das Schautempel der 
Augurn" in the Neite Jahrbiicher der Philologie, Bd. cxxiii., pp. 593- 
637. " The Hawaiian soothsayer, or kilo-kilo, turned always to the 
North when observing the heavens for signs or omens, or when re 
garding the flight of birds for similar purposes. The ancient Hindus 
turned also to the North for divining purposes, and so did the Ira 
nians before the schism, after which they placed the devs in the 
North ; so did the Greek, and so did the Scandinavians before their 
conversion to Christianity." A. Fornander, The Polynesian Race. 
London, 1878 : vol. i., p. 240. 


the end of the official or state paganism," says M. 
Beauvois, " the Romans regarded Great Britain as 
nearer heaven and more sacred than the Mediterra 
nean countries." l Varro and other Latin writers 
confirm this general representation, so that all mod 
ern expounders of the old Etruscan religion unite 
in locating the abode of the gods of Etruria in the 
Centre of Heaven, the northern circumpolar sky. 2 
Niebuhr and other authorities of the highest rank 
assure us that the Romans shared the same faith. 3 

1 " Sacratiora sunt profecto Mediterraneis loca vicina ccelo" Beau 
vois, in Revue de VHistoire des Religions. Paris, 1883 : p. 283. The 
statement is based upon expressions in the official panegyric of the 
Emperor Constantine Augustus. Compare the following : " Diodo- 
rus Siculus speaks of a nation whom he calls the Hyperboreans, who 
had a tradition that their country is nearest to the moon, on which 
they discovered mountains like those on the earth, and that Apollo 
comes there once every nineteen years. This period, being that of the 
metonic cycle of the moon, shows that if this could have been really 
discovered by them they must have had a long acquaintance with 
astronomy. Flammarion, Astronomical Myths. London : p. 88. 

2 " Im Nordpunkte der Welt." K. O. Miiller, Die Etrusker. Bres- 
lau, 1828 : Bd. ii., pp. 126, 129. " Suivant eux, ceux-ci devaient habi- 
ter dans la partie septentrionale du ciel, raison de son immobilite. 
C est de la region polaire qu ils veillaient sur toute la terre." A. 
Maury, in Religions de VAntiquite, Creuzer et Guigniaut, torn, ii., p. 
1217. " La theologie etrusque, accueillant une doctrine que nous 
avons deja recontree a 1 etat de reve confus dans la theologie grecque, 
pla9ait a Textreme nord le sejour des ^Lsars ou dieux. Mais, tandis 
que 1 Hellene se tourne vers les dieux pour les interroger, le Toscan 
imite leur attitude supposee, afin de voir 1 espace comme ils le voient 
eux-memes. Ayant done le visage tourne vers le midi, il appelle 
antica la moitie meridionale du ciel," etc. A. Bouche-Leclercq, La 
Divination chez les Etrusques. Revue de VHistoire des Religions. 
Paris, 1881 : torn, iii., p. 326. 

3 " Der Wohnsitz der Gotter ward im Norden der Erde geglaubt." 
Niebuhr, Romische Geschichte, vol. ii., Anhang, p. 702. " It is well 
known that the Romans placed the seat of the gods in the extreme 
North." The Oriental Journal. Chicago, 1880 : vol. i., p. 143. Nie- 
buhr s remark, " Der Augur dachte sich schauend wie die Gotter auf 
die Erde schauen," explains the somewhat unqualified and mislead- 


Fifth. The Japanese Conception. We have al 
ready seen that in the Japanese cosmogony the 
down-thrust spear of Izanagi becomes the upright 
axis of heaven and earth. Izanagi s place, there 
fore, at the upper end of this axis can be nowhere 
else than at the North Pole of the sky. 1 

But we are not left to inference. So inseparably 
was the Creator associated with the Pole in ancient 
Japanese thought that one of his loftiest and divin- 
est titles was derived from this association. Writ 
ing of the primitive ideas of this people, one of our 
best authorities uses the following language : " I 
shall do the Ko-ji-ki, and the Shinto religion, and 
the Japanese philosophy, strict justice by saying 
that, according to them, there existed in the begin 
ning one god, and nobody and nothing besides. 

" Far in the deep infinitudes of space, 
Upon a throne of silence, 

sat the god Ame-no-mi-naka-nushi-no-kami, whose 
name signifies THE LORD OF THE CENTRE OF 

What this Centre of Heaven is cannot well be 
doubtful to any careful reader of the present chapter. 

Sixth. The Chinese Conception. The oldest 
traceable worship among the Chinese is that of 
Shang-te, the highest of all gods. It is believed to 
have existed more than two thousand years before 
Christ. Shang-te is usually and correctly described 

ing statement of Professor Kuntze touching the rotary posture of 
the Roman in prayer. Prolegomena zur Geschichte Roms. Oraculum, 
Auspicium Templum, Regnum. Leipsic, 1882 : p. 15. 

1 See above, pt. iv., ch. 2. 

2 Sir Edward J. Reed, Japan, vol. i., p. 27. Compare Leon de 
Rosny, in Revue de PHistoire des Religions. Paris 1884 : p. 208 ; 
also p. 211. 


as the god of heaven. But his proper place of 
abode, his palace, is called Tsze-wei. And if we in 
quire as to the meaning and location of Tsze-wei, 
the native commentators upon the sacred books in 
form us that it is " a celestial space about the North 
Pole." i 

Here, as in Japan, and in Egypt, and in India, and 
in Iran, and in Greece, the Pole is " the centre " of 
the sky. A writer in the " Chinese Repository " 
quotes from authoritative religious books these dec 
larations: "The Polar star is the Centre of Heaven." 
" Shang-te s throne is in Tsze-wei, i. e., the Polar 
star." " Immediately over the central peak of 
Kwen-lun appears the Polar star, which is Shang- 
te s heavenly abode." "In the central place the 
Polar star of Heaven, the one Bright One, the 
Great Monad, always dwells." 2 

In accordance with this conception, the Emperor 
and his assistants, when officiating before the Altar 
of Heaven, always face the North. 3 The Pole-star 
itself is a prominent object of worship. 4 And how 
prevalent this localization of the abode of God at 

1 Legge, The Chinese Classics, vol. iii., Pt. i., p. 34 n. See further, 
Legge, Spring Lectures on the Religions of China, London, 1880, p. 
175, and the not well understood prayer in Douglas, Confucianism 
and Tauism, London, 1879, P- 2 ?8- From these and other references 
it is plain that Confucians and Tauists alike identified the northern 
sky with the abode of God. 

2 Vol. iv., p. 194. So, likewise in West Mongolian thought the 
celestial pole and the " apex of the Golden Mountain " are identical : 
" Allan kadasu niken nara Tagri-dschin urkilka. Apex mentis 
aurei, nomine Cardo Coeli, Stella polaris." Uranographia Mongolica. 
Fundgruben des Orients, Bd. iii., p. 181. 

3 See English Translation of the Chinese Ritual for the Sacrifice to 
Heaven. Shanghai, 1877 : pp. 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 48. 

4 Joseph Edkins, Religion in China, p. 115. Compare G. Schlegel, 
Uranographie Chinoise, pp. 506, 507. 


the Pole remains after four thousand years may be 
illustrated by the following incident narrated by 
Rev. Dr. Edkins : " I met on one occasion a school 
master from the neighborhood of Chapoo. He 
asked if I had any books to give away on astronomy 
and geography. Such books are eagerly desired by 
all members of the literary class. . . . The inquiry 
was put to him Who is the Lord of heaven and 
earth ? He replied that he knew none but the Pole- 
star, called in the Chinese language Teen-hwang-ta- 
te, the Great Imperial Ruler of Heaven." 1 

Seventh. The Ancient German and the Finnic Con 
ception. Like the ancients, when praying and sac 
rificing to the gods, the pagan Germans turned their 
faces toward the North. 2 There, in the northern 
heaven, at the top of Yggdrasil, the world-axis, stood 
the fair city of Asgard, the home of the Asen. The 
Eddas expressly say of it that it was built " in the 
Centre of the World." 3 At that point, whence alone 

1 Religion in China, p. 109. This title irresistibly suggests the 
Assyrian one, Dayan-Same, " Judge of Heaven." Transactions So 
ciety Bib. Archeology, iii. 206. 

2 Jakob Grimm, " Betende und opferende Heiden schauten gen Nor- 
den." Deutsche Mythologie, Bd. 5., p. 30. 

3 Grimm, " Im Mittelpunkte der Welt." Deutsche Mythologie, p. 
778. The following is from the Prose Edda : " Then the sons of Bor 
built in the middle of the universe the city called Asgard, where 
dwell the gods and their kindred, and from that abode work out so 
many wondrous things both on the earth and in the heavens above it. 
There is in that city a place called Hlidskjalf, and when Odin is 
seated there upon his lofty throne he sees over the whole world, dis 
cerns all the actions of men, and comprehends whatever he contem 
plates. His wife is Frigga, the daughter of Fjorgyn, and they and 
their offspring form the race that we call the ^sir, a race that dwells 
in Asgard the old, and in the regions around it, and that we know to 
be entirely divine." Mallet, Northern Antiquities, p. 406. The ex 
pression, " from that abode work out so many wondrous things," re 
calls to mind Job s description of the North as the place " where God 
doth work. 1 


the whole world of men is ever visible by night and 
by day, stood Hlidskjalf, the watch-tower of Odin. 
From this " partie septentrionale du del" he and 
Frigga, like the great gods of the Etruscans, " veil- 
latent sur toute la terre." 1 

Among the ancient Finns the name of the su 
preme god was Ukko. In their mythology he is 
sometimes represented as upbearing the firmament, 
like Atlas, and sometimes he is called Taivahan Na- 
panen, "the Navel of Heaven." As Castren shows, 
this curious title is given him simply because he re 
sides in the centre or Pole of heaven. 2 In the great 
epic of this people, the Kalevala, the abode of the 
supreme God is called Tahtela, 8 which word simply 
means " Place of TdJiti : Esthonian, Taht, the Polar 

We have not exhausted our materials in hand for 
the illustration of this point, 4 but surely we have 
presented enough. Reviewing this singular una 
nimity of the ancient nations, no thoughtful reader 
can fail to be impressed with its significance. No 
other explanation of it can be so simple and obvious 
as the supposition that the heaven which over 
arched the cradle of humanity was a heaven whose 
zenith was the northern Pole. 

Before concluding the present chapter, another 
point of considerable interest should be noticed. In 
reading the Edenic traditions of the ancient nations 

1 Vide supra, p. 214 n. 2. 

2 Castren, Finnische Mythologie (Tr. Schiefner), pp. 32, 33. 

3 Rune II, 32, 36, 40. 

4 See, for example, Gill, Myths and Songs of the South Pacific. Lon 
don, 1876 : p. 17. 


as given in Part fourth, the question may well have 
suggested itself to the reader, " How is it that, with 
such perfect unanimity on the part of contemporary 
nations in respect to the north-polar position of the 
cradle of mankind, the traditions of the Hebrews 
alone should have placed it in the East ? " In the 
facts just now reviewed we have a key to this puz 
zle. The only word in Genesis which connects Eden 
with the East is Kedem (Qedem). This term " prop 
erly means that which is before or in front of a per 
son, and was applied to the East from the custom of 
turning in that direction when describing the points 
of the compass." 1 From Gen. xiii. 14, it would 
seem to have acquired this association with the East 
as early as the days of Abraham, but according tc 
"the custom" of a particular time or people it could 
mean one point of the compass as well as another. 
It was simply the "front-country." In late historic 
times among the Hebrews it was the East, and ac 
cordingly the West was the country " behind," the 
North the "left hand," the South the "right," as 
before noticed. In Egypt, however, the usage was 
different, the " front - country " being either the 
North or the South, which we cannot certainly 
tell, as Egyptologists are divided on the question. 
Pierret thinks that it was South, and that accord 
ingly the right hand was West and the left East. 2 
Chabas and others, however, exactly reverse the 
meaning of the hieroglyphics translated "right" and 
" left," and hold that in designating the points of 
the compass the ancient Egyptian faced the North. 

1 Smith s Bible Dictionary, Art. " East." 

2 Dictionnaire d" 1 Archeologie Egyptienne. Paris, 1875 : P- I 9 I 
Comp. pp. 116, 118, 187, 344, 351, 364, 371, 392, 399. 


Among the Akkadians and Assyrians, if we may rely 
upon a questionable statement of Lenormant, still 
another adjustment prevailed : the right hand was 
the North, the left the South, and the "front" direc 
tion, of course, the West. 1 

In view of these facts it is plain that, anterior to 
the fixation of Hebrew usage, that is in pre-Abra- 
hamic times, Qedem, or the "front-country," may as 
well have meant the North as any other quarter. 
And there is much reason to suppose that it did 
have this meaning. We have seen that this was pe 
culiarly the sacred quarter of the whole Asiatic and 
Egyptian world. Toward it faced all earliest priest 
hoods and worshipers of whom we have any knowl 
edge. 2 What so natural as that they should con 
template and designate the different quarters of the 
world from the standpoint of their normal posture 
in worship ? And if once we assume that such was 
the usage of all the Noachidae anterior to their dis 
persion, and that accordingly "the front -country " 
meant the North, all at once becomes plain. Gen 
esis then unites with universal ethnic tradition in 
locating the cradle of mankind in the North. The 
record then reads, "And the Lord God planted a 
garden in the North country, in Eden." And, in 
precise agreement herewith, it is down from the 
mountainous heights of this North country "from 

1 Fragments de Berose, p. 367 ; also, 380, 419. But compare Ckal- 
daan Mag? c, pp. 168, 169, where, by identifying the West with the 
point " behind the observer," he directly contradicts the account given 
in his Commentary on Berosus. The paragraph does not appear in 
the original French edition of the work. 

2 Even among the aborigines of America and Africa we are told 
that " the West is the left hand and the East the right." Massey, 
The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., p. 231. 


Qedem " that the descendants of Noah in after 
time come into " the plain in the land of Shinar " 
(Gen. xi. 2). So is cleared up simultaneously an 
other mystery, for how to bring the first colonizers 
of Shinar into the Tigro-Euphrates valley, from any 
probable Ararat by any probable " journeying from 
the East" or, as the margin gives it, "eastwards" 
has always perplexed the commentator. 1 

This interpretation harmonizes for the first time 
Gen. ii. 8 with Eze. xxviii. 13, both now referring to 
one and the same point of the compass, the sacred 
North. Again, the well-known difficulty of harmo 
nizing the references to " the children of Qedem," 
found in the oldest of the Hebrew Scriptures, such 
as Gen. xxix. I, and Job i. 3, is solved at once by 
this interpretation. At the same time it gives us a 
location for "the land of Uz" exactly correspond 
ing with the explicit declaration of Josephus : " Uz 
founded Trachonitis and Damascus ; this country 
lies between Palestine and Coelosyria." 2 

To most readers, this solution of the problem of 
the exceptional character of the Hebrew tradition 
will probably at once commend itself as eminently 
satisfactory. To some, however, it may seem a little 
difficult of belief that one and the same term could 
in successive ages have found application to differ 
ent points of the compass. 3 To such the following, 

1 Of course, this interpretation proceeds upon the common assump 
tion that Miqqedem is translocative in signification, and that the land 
of Shinar was in the Tigro-Euphrates basin. In another note I have 
indicated the possibility that the land of Shinar was in primeval Qe 
dem, in which case Miqqedem in Gen. xi. 2 should be translated pre 
cisely as in Gen. ii. 8, " in the North country." 

2 Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. i., 6, 4. 

3 See diagram illustrative of the discrepancy between Euphratean 
and Egyptian orientations in Brown, Myth of Jtirke. London, 1883 : 


written, of course, with no reference to our problem, 
will be of special interest : " The names of the four 
cardinal points, and, what is very remarkable, the 
hieroglyphic signs by which they are expressed, are 
in a certain measure the same in the Akkadian and 
Chinese cultures. This I intend to show in a spe 
cial monograph upon the subject; but that which is 
here of importance to note is the displacement of 
the geographical horizon produced in the establish 
ing of the hundred families. The South, which 
was so termed on the cuneiform tablets, corresponds 
in Chinese to the East, the North to the West, the 
East to the South, making thus a displacement of 
quarter of a circle. It would be interesting if, on 
examination of the Akkadian and Assyrian names, 
we could find that they in their turn denoted an 
early displacement of which only these traces re 
main to us." 1 

p. 99. Comp. p. 101, bot. Mr. G. Massey, in his vast astrotypolog- 
ical medley, refers to the horizon-displacement, but affords no intelli 
gible explanation. He says, " In making the change to a circle of 
twelve signs, the point of commencement in the North was e slewed 
round eastward. Hence the Akkadian Mountain of the World be 
came the Mountain of the East. Mount Meru, the primordial birth 
place in the North, likewise became the Mountain eastward. This 
may be followed in the Adamah of the Genesis ; and in the Book of 
Enoch it says, The fourth wind, which is named the North, is divided 
into three parts, and the third part contains Paradise. Thus Eden, 
which began at the summit of the Mount, and descended into the 
Circle of Four Quarters prepared by Yima, in the Avesta, against 
the coming Deluge, was finally planted in the twelfth division of the 
zodiac of twelve signs, as the garden eastward." The Natural Gen 
esis. London, 1883 : vol. ii., p. 263. 

1 Terrien de Lacouperie, Early History of the Chinese Civilization. 
London, 1880 : p. 29. On this curious matter Mr. T. G. Pinches 
threw some new light at a meeting of the Society of Biblical Arche 
ology, Feb. 6, 1883. In May Mr. Terrien de Lacouperie read a paper 
before the Royal Asiatic Society, entitled " The Shifting of the Car- 


Possibly the usage of ancient Egypt may enable 
us to put our solution in yet simpler form. If we 
may accept the teachings of the learned Maspero, 
the Egyptians often reduced the four quarters or di 
rections to two, using the term East in a sense suffi 
ciently broad to include both East and North, and 
the term West in a sense sufficiently broad to in 
clude both West and South. 1 If, then, Moses, who 
in his education was an Egyptian, wrote in accord- 

dinal Points in Chaldaea and China," which will appear in his forth 
coming work on The Origin of Chinese Civilization. Similar inter 
changes and identifications of the North and West are referred to 
by Menzel, Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkcitslehre, i., p. 101. See 
also Asiatic Researches, vol. viii., pp. 275-284. 

1 "J ai expose depuis longtemps dans mes cours au College de 
France une theorie d apres laquelle les Egyptiens auraient divise les 
quatre points en deux series groupees : Nord-Est, Sud-Ouest. . . . 
Ce n est que par suite de la classification dont je viens de parler qu on 
met souvent a 1 Ouest les regions proprement situees au Sud, ou re- 
ciproquement au Sud les regions situees a 1 Ouest. L application de 
cette idee a 1 Est nous mene aussi a croire que Ton a pu dire du Ta- 
noutri qu il etait au Nord." (M. Maspero, in a letter to the author, 
under date of December 20, 1882.) This usage could hardly have 
arisen among any people not acquainted with the spherical figure of 
the earth. How easily it could arise among us is illustrated by Sir 
John de Maundeville, who, writing in A. D. 1356, located Paradise so 
far to the East of England that he could no longer correctly describe the 
place by this term. Thus, after speaking of the Terrestrial Paradise as 
situate far " to the East, at the beginning of the earth," he says, " But 
this is not that East which we call our East, on this half, where the 
sun rises to us ; for when the sun is East in those parts towards Ter 
restrial Paradise, it is then midnight in our parts on this half, on ac 
count of the roundness of the earth, of which I have told you before ; 
for our Lord God made the earth all round in the middle of the firma 
ment." Wright, Early Travels in Palestine. London, 1848 : p. 276. 
The nearest way to an Eden thus located would, of course, be north 
ward. Its location could therefore be described with equal correct 
ness either by the term " eastward " or " northward." Still another 
interesting theory of its origin will suggest itself to the thoughtful 
student of such facts as those alluded to by Mr. Scribner in Where 
iid Life Begin ? pp. 32, 33. 


ance with such a usage, it would be quite possible 
to use Qedem for a " front-country " in the North, 
and again, without embarrassment, to use the same 
term in speaking of the East. 1 

1 Compare the arrangement of the winds on the ceiling of the Pro- 
naos of the temple at Dendera. Brugsch, Astronomische Inschriften 
ctitagyptischer Denkmdler. Leipsic, 1883 : pp. 26 hot., and 27 top. 



He is the god who sits in the centre, on the Navel of the Earth ; and he is the 
interpreter of religion to all mankind. PLATO. 

But at the Navel of the Earth stands Agni, clothed in richest apparel. Rig 

To whom then will ye liken God ? It is HE that sitteth upon the CHUG of the 
Earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers. ISAIAH. 

After proceeding some distance we paused to take breath where the crowd was 
more dense and obstinate than usual : and I was seriously informed that this was 
the exact Navel of the Earth, and that these obstinate pilgrims were bowing and 
kissing it, The Land and the Book. 

Jedes Volk hat einen Nabel der Erde. KLEUKER. 

STUDENTS of antiquity must often have marveled 
that in nearly every ancient literature they should 
encounter the strange expression " the Navel of 
the Earth." Still more unaccountable would it 
have seemed to them had they noticed how many 
ancient mythologies connect the cradle of the human 
race with this earth-navel. The advocates of the 
different sites which have been assigned to Eden 
have seldom, if ever, recognized the fact that no 
hypothesis on this subject can be considered accept 
able which cannot account for this peculiar associa 
tion of man s first home with some sort of natural 
centre of the earth. Assuming, however, that the 
human race began its history at the Pole, and that 

1 Printed in advance in the Boston University Year Book, vol. xi. 



all traditional recollections of man s unfallen state 
were connected with a polar Eden, the mystery 
which otherwise envelops the subject immediately 

We have already seen that the term " navel " was 
anciently used in many languages for " centre," and 
that the Pole, or central point of the revolving con 
stellations, was the " Navel of Heaven." But as to 
the celestial Pole there corresponds a terrestrial one, 
so it is only natural that to the term the " Navel of 
Heaven " there should be the corresponding expres 
sion the " Navel of the Earth." 

Beginning with Christian traditions, let us make 
a pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre 
at Jerusalem. There, in the portion belonging to 
the Greek Christians, we shall discover a round pil 
lar, some two feet high, projecting from the marble 
pavement, but supporting nothing. If we inquire as 
to its purpose, we shall be informed that it is de 
signed to mark the exact centre or " Navel " of the 
Earth. 1 Early pilgrims and chroniclers refer to this 

1 As my own inspection of this monument was nearly thirty years 
ago, I have thought it well to make inquiry as to its present state. 
The following, written under date of Oct. 28, 1884, by my obliging 
friend, Dr. Selah Merrill, the United States Consul at Jerusalem, and 
well known as an Oriental archaeologist, will be read with much inter 
est : " The stone to which you refer still stands in the middle of the 
Church (Greek) of the Holy Sepulchre, and is called the Centre or 
Navel of the Earth. It is called a pillar, although it is not a pil 
lar, but a vase, conforming in its general shape to a large, tall fruit 
dish. The top is in the form of a basin, with a raised portion in its 
centre ; that is, in the bottom of the basin. I was told that at every 
feast bread was laid on this pillar. I am assured that it is called the 
Centre of the Earth only by the Arab or native Christians of Syria, 
and not by the Greeks proper ; also, that every Greek church in 
Syria that is built after the form of this one has such a pillar in 
the centre. Within two or three years past, an old church has been 



curious monument, but its antiquity no one knows. 1 
As usually described, it is a monument of the geo 
graphical ignorance of those who placed it there, a 
proof that they supposed the edge of the "flat disk" 
of the earth to be everywhere equidistant from this 
stone. In reality, it is a monument of primeval as 
tronomic and geographic science. 

excavated a little distance north of the Damascus gate. In the Pal 
estine Fund Report for October, 1883, I wrote some account of this 
to supplement what had been written before by others. In the centre 
of that church there is a similar stone, but that is a real pillar. This 
church is no doubt very old, and is popularly spoken of as the Church 
of St. Stephen. In my judgment it stands on the site of an older 

" It seemed to me a little singular that this object should be called 
a pillar (Amud), when it is only a vase, or vase-shaped ; but as the 
tradition connected with it is very old, the name may have come down 
from the time when the object used for this purpose was actually a 
pillar or column." 

It is interesting to compare with the foregoing the description given 
by Bernard Surius, of Brussels, in the year 1646, particularly as at 
that time the " Oriental Greeks " seem to have had no scruple in call 
ing the pillar the Centre of the Earth : " Omtrent het midden steckt 
eenen witten marmer-steen uyt, van twee voeten in syn vierkant, daer 
een rondt putteken in is, t welck soo de Oostsche Griecken seggen, 
het midden van den aerdt-bodem is." Reyse van Jerusalem. Ant 
werp, 1649 : P- 664. 

1 Bishop Argulf, in his pilgrimage, A. D. 700, "saw some other 
relics, and he observed a lofty column in the holy places to the north 
of the Church of Golgotha, in the middle of the city, which at mid 
day at the summer solstice casts no shadow ; which shows that this is 
the centre of the earth." Wright, Early Travels in Palestine, p. 4. 
As late as A. D. 1102, it still seems to have been outside the then ex 
isting Church. Bishop Saewulf says, "At the head of the Church of 
the Holy Sepulchre, in the -wall outside, not far from the place of Cal 
vary, is the place called Compos, which our Lord Jesus Christ him 
self signified and measured with his own hand as the middle of the 
world according to the words of the Psalmist, God is my king of 
old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. " Ibid., p. 38. In 
1322, however, it is described by Sir John de Maundeville as " in the 
midst of the Church." Ibid., p. 167. At one time in the Middle 
Ages, the spot seems to have been marked by a letter or inscription. 


To find the true symbolical and commemorative 
character of this pillar, we need to remind ourselves 
of a tendency ever present and active among men. 
We have already alluded to the scores of " Calva 
ries " which have been set apart in Roman Catholic 
lands, and hallowed as memorial mounts. Up the 
side of each leads a Via dolorosa, with its different 
" stations," each recalling to the mind, by sculptured 
reliefs or otherwise, one of the immortal incidents 
of the Passion. On the summit is the full cruci 
fixion tableau, the Saviour hanging aloft upon 
the cross, between two crucified malefactors. The 
spear, the reed with the sponge, the hammer, all 
are there, sometimes the ladder also ; and near by, 
the tomb wherein never man was laid. In the minds 
of the worshipers it is a holy place. 

Even in our Protestant republic, on the shore of 
Lake Chautauqua, we have seen successfully carried 
out, in our own day, a complete reproduction of Pal 
estine. Thousands have visited it to take object- 
lessons in Sacred Geography. From it these thou 
sands have gained clearer ideas of the relative 
positions and bearings of Hermon and Tabor and 
Olivet, of Kedron and Cherith and the Jordan, of 
Nazareth and Hebron and the Holy City, than else 
they ever would have had. What here has been 
done for purposes of instruction has elsewhere and 
often upon a greater or smaller scale, been done for 
purposes of direct religious edification, and for the 
gratification of religious sentiment. 

Now, just as Christians love to localize in their 

Barclay, City of the Great King. Philadelphia, 1858 : p. 370. See 
Michelant et Reynaud, Itineraries a Jerusalem. Geneve, 1882 : pp, 
36, IO4 4 , 182, 230, etc. 


own midst their " Holy Places," so the early nations 
of the world loved to create miniature reproductions 
of Eden, the fair and sacred country in which man 
dwelt in the holy morning hours of his existence. 1 
The traditional temple architecture of many early 
religions was determined by this symbolical and 
commemorative motive. This was eminently true 
of the sacred architecture of the Babylonians, Egyp 
tians, Hebrews, and Chinese. 2 Koeppen assures us 
that " every orthodoxly constructed Buddhist temple 
either is, or contains, a symbolical representation of 
the divine regions of Meru, and of the heaven of 
the gods, saints, and Buddhas, rising above it." 3 
Lillie says, "The thirteen pyramidal layers at the 
top of every temple in Nepal represent the thirteen 
unchangeable heavens of Amitabha." 4 With what 

1 " The Hindus generally represent Mount Meru of a conical figure, 
and kings were formerly fond of raising mounds of earth in that 
shape, which they venerated like the divine Meru, and the gods were 
called down by spells to come and dally upon them. They are called 
Meru-sringas, or the peaks of Meru. There are four of them either 
in or near Benares ; the more modern, and of course the more per 
fect, is at a place called Sar-nath. It was raised in the year of Christ 
1027. . . . This conical hill is about sixty feet high, with a small but 
handsome octagonal temple on the summit. It is said in the inscrip 
tion that this artificial hill was intended as a representation of the 
worldly Meru, the hill of God, and the tower of Babel, with its seven 
steps or zones, was probably raised with a similar view and for the 
same purpose." Wilford in Asiatic Researches, vol. viii., p. 291. 

2 Miller, "The Pyramidal Temple," in the Oriental and Bib. Jour 
nal. Chicago, 1880: vol. i., pp. 169-178. Also, Boscawen, in the 
same, 1884, p. 118. Perrot and Chipiez, History of Art in Chaldaa 
and Assyria. London and New York, 1884 : vol. i., pp. 364-398. 

8 Die Religion des Buddha, vol. ii., 262. 

4 Buddha and Early Buddhism, p. 51. We find the same symbol 
ism even among the civilized aborigines of America. Thus " the 
temple at Tezcuco was of nine stories, symbolizing the nine heavens" 
Bancroft, Native Races, vol. iii., p. 184. Compare pp. 186, 195, 197; 
also 532-537. 


astonishing elaboration this idea has sometimes been 
carried out may be seen in the Senbyoo temple in 
Mengoon, near the capital of Burmah. 1 That the 
natural features of the landscape were often utilized 
in producing these symbolic shrines and holy places 
is only what we should expect. " The Buddhists of 
Ceylon," as Obry states, " have endeavored to trans 
form their central mountain, Deva-Kuta (Peak of the 
Gods), into Meru, and to find four streams descend 
ing from its sides to correspond with the rivers of 
their Paradise." 2 

Again, in the " rock-cut " temples of Ellora, we 
have, in like manner, a complete representation of 
the Paradise of Siva. Faber develops the evidence 
of this practice among the ancients with great full 
ness, and with respect to the Hindus and Buddhists 
says, " Each pagoda, each pyramid, each montiform 
high-place/ is invariably esteemed to be a copy of 
the holy hill Meru," the Hindu s Paradise. 3 

From " Records of the Past," vol. x., p. 50, we see 
that the Egyptians had the same custom of building 
temples in such a manner that they should be sym 
bolical of the abode of the gods. So in Greece and 

1 See Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. London, 1870: pp. 406- 

2 Le Bercea^^ de V E spice Humaine, p. 118. 

3 Origin of Pagan Idolatry. London, 1816 : vol. i., p. 345. So an 
American writer says, " Akkad, Aram, and all the other highlands 
of antiquity were but reproductions, traditionary inheritances from 
this primitive highland, this Olympus of all Asia. . . . Similar notions 
were associated at a later period with Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and 
with the Mohammedan Mecca and other sacred localities. Such 
ideas [as that they were respectively in the centre of the world] are 
no indication of the ignorance of the ancients : they were symbolical 
and traditionary conceptions inherited from the sacred mount of 
Paradise." The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal. Chi 
cago, 1881 : p. 312. Compare 1884, p. 118. 


Rome the citadel mounts in their cities had quite as 
great religious as military significance. Lenormant, 
speaking of Rome and Olympia, remarks, " It is im 
possible not to note that the Capitoline was first of 
all the Mount of Saturn, and that the Roman archae 
ologists established a complete affinity between the 
Capitoline and Mount Cronios in Olympia, from the 
standpoint of their traditions and religious origin 
(Dionysius Halicarn., i., 34). This Mount Cronios 
is, as it were, the Omphalos of the sacred city of 
Elis, the primitive centre of its worship. It some 
times receives the name Olympos." 1 Here is not 
only symbolism in general, but also a symbolism 
pointing to the Arctic Eden, already shown to be 
the primeval mount of Kronos, the Omphalos of the 
whole earth. 2 

Now, as Jerusalem is one of the most ancient of 
the sacred cities of the world, and, at the same time, 
the one where the tradition of the primeval Paradise 
was preserved in its clearest and most historic form, 
it would be strange if, in all its long history, no king 
or priesthood had ever tried to enhance its attrac 
tiveness and sanctity by making it, or some part of 
it, symbolize Earth s earliest Holy Land, and com 
memorate man s earliest Theocracy. That the at- 

1 Beginnings of History, pp. 151, 153. 

2 Among the Romans no city, or even camp, was rite established 
and founded without a sacred Umbilicus. It " fiel in den Schnitt- 
punkt des Decumanus und Cardo Maximus, d. h., wohin die Via decu- 
mana,s\ch mit der Via principalis \i\z\ii\. ; dieser Schnittpunkt befand 
sich vor dem introitus Praetorii ; da stand auch die Ara castrorum, 
da war der Umbilicus des Systems. Diesen Umbilicus nun finden 
\vir in Rom noch in Mauerresten vorhanden am nordostlichen Anfang 
des Forum wieder, welche Stelle als Umbilicus bezeichnetwurde." J. 
H. Kuntze, Prolegomena z^^r Geschichte Roms. Leipsic, 1882: p. 154. 
See notes below, on the cities of Cuzco and Mexico. 


tempt was made is beyond a doubt. To this day the 
visitor is shown the spot where, according to one 
tradition, Adam was created. 1 Not many feet away, 
under the custody of another religion, he finds the 
sacred rock-hewn grave in which at least the head 
of the first of men was buried. 2 In the little Gihon, 
the name of one of the Paradise rivers still lives. 
The miraculous virtue of the Pool of Bethsaida 
was ascribed in early Christian legend to its being 
in subterranean contact with the Tree of Life, 
which grew in the midst of Paradise. 3 Christ s 
cross was said to have been made of the wood of the 
same tree. The very name, Mount Sion, is a memo 
rial one. The Talmudic account of " The Strength 
of the Hill of Sion " shows that the Palestinian 
mount was named after the heavenly one, and not 
vice versa, as commonly supposed. The true sacred 
name of the Holy City is, therefore, not Sion 
(though it is often called by the heavenly appella 
tion also), but " Daughter of Sion." She is simply 

1 Murray s Handbook for Syria and Palestine. London, 1858 : Pt. i., 
p. 164. Another account reads, " E de Iherusalem a Seint Habraham 
sunt. viii. liwes, e la fust Adam fourme." Itineraires & Jerusalem, 
et Descriptions de la Terre Sainte. Rediges en frangais aux XP, 
XIP, XIIP siecles. Publics par Michelant et Reynaud. Geneve, 
1882 : p. 233. 

2 See F. Piper, Adams Grab auf Golgotha. Evangelischer Kalen- 
der> 1861 : p. 17 ff. (illustrated). Philippe Mousket (A. D. 1241), in 
his descriptive poem on the Holy Places, makes it the tomb of both 
Adam and Eve : 

" Et la tout droit u li ludeu 
Crucifiierent le fil Deu, 
Fu Adam, li premiers om, mis 
Et entieres et soupoulis, 
Et Eve, sa feme, avoec lui," etc. 

(Michelant et Reynaud, ut supra, p. 115.) 

8 W. Henderson, Identity of the Scene of Man s Creation, Fall, and 
Redemption. London, 1864 : p. 10. 


a copy, a miniature likeness, of the true mount and 
city of God " in the sides of the North." 1 

So confident is Lenormant that Solomon and 
Hezekiah intentionally conformed their capital to 
the Paradisaic mount, and intentionally introduced 
in their public works features which should sym 
bolize and commemorate peculiarities of Eden, that 
he uses the fact as an unanswerable argument 
against those imaginative critics who would place 
the composition of the second chapter of Genesis 
subsequent to the Babylonian exile. He says, 

" Another proof, and a very decisive one in my 
opinion, of the high antiquity of the narrative of 
Genesis concerning Eden, and of the knowledge of 
it possessed by the Hebrews long before the Captiv 
ity, is the intention so clearly proved by Ewald 
to imitate the four rivers which predominated in 
the works of Solomon and Hezekiah for the distri 
bution of the waters of Jerusalem, which, in its turn, 
was considered as the Umbilicus of the Earth (Ezek. 
v. 5), in the double sense of centre of the inhabited 
regions and source of the rivers. The four streams 
which watered the town and the foot of its ram 
parts one of which was named Gihon (i Kings 
i- 33> 38 ; 2 Chron. xxxii. 30, xxxiii. 14), like one of 
the Paradisaic rivers were, as Ewald has shown, 
reputed to issue through subterranean communica 
tions from the spring of fresh water situated be 
neath the Temple, the sacred source of life and 
purity to which the prophets (Joel iii. 1 8 ; Ezek. 
xlvii. 1-12; Zech. xiii. i, xiv. 8 ; cf. Apoc. xxii. i) at 
tach a high symbolic value." 2 

1 See chapter iii. of the present Part. 

2 " Ararat and Eden." The Contemporary Review, vol. iii., No. 27 
lAm. ed., p. 46). 


In this citation, in addition to a strong assertion 
of the symbolical character of the topography and 
waterworks of Jerusalem, we have the location it 
self included in this symbolism. The city is said to 
have been the Umbilicus or Navel of the Earth, for 
two reasons : first, because of its relation to sur 
rounding countries ; * and, second, because of its 
containing the source of the rivers. In our next 
chapter, this last reason will become more significant 
than even the writer intended. At present we will 
only add that the true philosophy of this symbolical 
centrality of Jerusalem is found in two facts : first, 
the Hebrews had a tradition that primeval Eden 
was the Centre of the Earth : 2 and, second, by styling 
Jerusalem the Navel of the Earth, as they did, it was 
symbolically all the more assimilated to the prim 
itive Paradise which in so many other ways it sa 
credly commemorated. 

Passing to the field of Hellenic tradition, we are 
told by all modern interpreters that the Greeks 
shared the "narrow conceit and ignorance of all 
ancient nations," and supposed their own land to 
occupy the middle of the "flat earth-disk." And 
because of certain expressions in Pindar and a pas 
sage in Pausanias, it is affirmed as a first principle 
in the geography of the ancient Greeks that Delphi 
was believed to be the exact topographical centre- 
point of the whole earth. 

1 That this traditionally-given first reason for the appellation is not 
well founded is evident from the fact that the Hebrews had a " Navel 
of the Earth," farther to the North, before ever they had possessed 
themselves of the site of Jerusalem (Judg. ix. 37). 

2 In Origen, Sdectis ad Genesin, we read, " Tradunt Hebraei lo 
cum, in quo Paradisum plantavit Deus, Eden vocari, et ajunt ipsum 
mundi medium esse, ut pupillam oculi" Compare Hershon, Tal* 
mudic Miscellany, p. 300. 


Such a representation is far from satisfactory. 
For while the term " Omphalos of the Earth " was un 
doubtedly applied in a sense to Delphi, it belonged 
to it only as the name Athens belongs to many a 
town thus designated in America. It had other and 
older topographical connections and associations. 
We find traces of the same title in connection with 
Olympos, with Ida, with Parnassos, with Ogygia, 
with Nyssa, with Mount Meros, with Delos, with 
Athens, with Crete, and even with Meroe. In the 
multiplicity of these localizations, the people seem to 
have lost the clue to the original significance of the 
conception, and to have contrived crude etymologi 
cal myths of their own for the explanation of what 
seemed to them a remarkable designation. 1 

The moment we make the true original Omphalos 
of the Earth the North Pole, and invest it with sa 
cred traditionary recollections of Eden life, all this 
confusion becomes clear. The " centre-stone" of 
Delphi, like the Omphalium of the Cretans, becomes 
merely a memorial shrine, an attempted copy of the 
great original. And if all the Olymps and Idas 
and Parnassos mounts were alike convenient repro 
ductions and localizations of the one celestial moun 
tain of the gods at the North Pole, what wonder if 
we find each of them in some way designated as the 
Centre of the Earth. 

Homer s " Omphalos of the sea," Calypso s isle, 

1 " A peine Penfant [Zeus] venoit de naitre, que les Curetes le por- 
terent sur 1 Ida. Dans le trajet, le cordon ombilical se detacha et 
tomba au milieu d une plaine qui prit de la le nom de o/juf>a\bs, nom- 
bril (nom qu elle devoit avoir auparavant)." T. B. Emeric-David, 
Jupiter ; Recherches sur ce Dieu, sur son Culle, etc., Paris, 1833, t. i., 
p. 248, referring to Callimachus, Hymnus in Jovem, v. 44 ; Diodorus 
Sic., v. 70. 


has in like manner all the marks of a mythico-tradi- 
tional north polar Eden. Its name, Ogygia, connects 
it with a far-off antediluvian antiquity. 1 It is situ 
ated in the far North, and Odysseus needs the blast 
of Boreas to bring him away from its shores on 
the homeward journey. Its queen, Calypso, is the 
daughter of Atlas ; and Atlas proper station in 
Greek mythology, as elsewhere shown, is at the ter 
restrial Pole. Its beauty is Paradisaic, it being 
adorned with groves and " soft meadows of violets," 
so beautiful, in fact, that " on beholding it even an 
Immortal would be seized with wonder and delight." 2 
Finally, identifying the place beyond all question, 
we have the Eden " fountain," whose waters part 
into "four streams, flowing each in opposite direc 
tions." 3 

In Mount Meros we have only the Greek form 
of Meru, as long ago shown by Creuzer. 4 The one 
is the Navel of the Earth for the same reason that 
the other -is. Egyptian Meroe (in some Egyptian 
texts Mer, in Assyrian Mirukk, or Mirukka), the 
seat of the famous oracle of Jupiter Ammon, was 
possibly named from the same "World-mountain." 
This would explain the passage in Quintus Cur- 
tius, which has so troubled commentators, wherein 
the object which represented the divine being is 
described as resembling a "navel set in gems." 6 

1 See Welcker, Griechische Gotterlehre, i., 775 et seq. 

2 Odyssey, v. 63-75. 
8 Ibid. 

4 Symbolik, vol. i., p. 537. 

6 " Id quod pro deo colitur, non eandem effigiam habet, quam 
vulgo diis accommodaverunt : umbilico maxime similis est habitus, 
smaragdo et gemmis coagmentatus." Quintus Curtius, De Reb. Ges., 
iv. 7, 23. See notes in Lemaire s ed., Paris, 1822; also Diodorus 
Siculus, iii. 3. Capt. Wilford notices another coincidence : " The 


When the two doves of Zeus, flying from the two 
opposite ends of the world, determine the cosmic 
centralness of " Parnassos," it is of an antediluvian 
Parnassos that the myth is speaking. 1 It is that 
mount on whose polar top we have already found 
the " domicilium " of Zeus. 

Nonnos, in describing the symbolical peplos which 
Harmonia wove on the loom of Athene, says, " First 
she represented the earth with its omphalos in the 
centre ; around the earth she spread out the sphere 
of heaven varied with the figures of the stars. . . . 
Lastly, along the exterior edge of the well-woven 
vestment she represented the Ocean in a circle." 2 
That Delphi or the Phocian Parnassos is the ompha 
los here mentioned is far enough from credible. It 
is the Pole, and the manner in which the term is in 
troduced shows that it was perfectly understood by 
every reader, and needed no explanation. The true 
shrine of Apollo was not at Delphi, but in that older 
earth-centre of which Plato speaks in the motto pre 
fixed to this section. His real home is among "the 
Hyperboreans," in a land of almost perpetual light ; 
and it is only upon annual visits that he comes to 
Delphi. 3 The remembrance of this fact would have 

Pauranics say that . . . the first climate is that of Meru ; among the 
Greeks and Romans the first climate was that of. Meroe." Wilford 
in Asiatic Researches, vol. viii., p. 289. 

1 "Before this time" the time of the deluge of Deucalion 
" Zeus had once wanted to know where the middle of the earth was, 
and had let fly two doves at the same moment from the two ends of 
the world, to see where they would meet ; they met on Mount Par 
nassos, and thus it was proved beyond a doubt that this mountain 
must be the centre of the earth." C. Witt, Myths of Hellas. Lon 
don, 1883 : p. 140. 

2 Lenormant, Beginnings of History, p. 549. 

8 " Au debut de 1 hiver Apollon quitte Delphes pour le pays mys- 
terieux des Hyperboreans, ou rfegne une lumiere constante, et qui 


helped the interpreters of Pindar out of more than 
one perplexity. 1 According to Hecataeus, Leto, the 
mother of Apollo and his sister Artemis, was born 
on an island in the Arctic Ocean, " beyond the 
North wind." Moreover, on this island inhabited by 
the Hyperboreans, Apollo is unceasingly worshiped 
in a huge round temple, in a city whose inhabitants 
are perpetually playing upon lyres and chanting to 
his praise. 2 So reports Diodorus (it., 47) ; and here 
with agrees the imaginary journey of Apollonius of 
Tyana, a namesake of Apollo, who tells of his 
journey far to the North of the Caucasus into the 
regions of the pious Hyperboreans, among whom he 
found a lofty sacred mountain, the Omphalos of the 
Earth. 3 

In the Phaedo we have a charming description of 
Plato s terrestrial Paradise. " In this fair region," 

echappe aux rigueurs de 1 hiver." Maxima Collignon, Mythologie 
Figuree de la Grece. Paris, 1883 : p. 96. See Alcaeus Hymn, re 
ferred to by Menzel, Unsterblichkeitslehre, i., p. 87. The present 
writer is not the first to be reminded here of polar Meru : " Bei ihnen 
(den Hyperboreern), wohnen bestandig der Sonnengott Apollo und 
seine Schwester Artemis, wie auf dem indischen Meru ebenfalls In- 
dra, der Lichtgeist und Sonnengott, wohnt." Dr. Heinrich Liiken, 
Die Traditionen des Menschengeschlechts, oder die Uroffenbarung 
unler den Heiden. Minister, 2d ed., 1869 : p. 73. 

1 See Olympian Odes, iv., 74 ; vi., 3 ; viii., 62 ; xi., 10. Nemean, 
viL, 33. Frag., i., 3, m& passim ; comp. Olymp., ii., iii. ; Pyth., iv., etc. 

2 " The Dorian worship of Apollo was primitively Boreal." Hum- 
boldt, Cosmos (Bohn s ed.), ii., 511. Compare Pindar s expression in 
second Olympian Ode : " the Hyperborean folk who serve Apollo." 

8 " Cette montagne est sacree ; c est 1 ombilic du monde." Mo- 
reau de Jonnes, L 1 Ocean des Anciens, p. 162. As to the ^Egean 
Delos, the best explanation Keary can give is this : " Delos was after 
ward deemed to be the navel of the earth, because, being in special 
favor with Apollo, it might be thought to stand under the eye of the 
midday sun" (!) Primitive Belief, p. 183. Compare, on the other 
hand, Pindar s Fragment in honor of Delos, the Homeric Hymn to 
Apollo, and the Japanese myth of Onogorojima before described. 


Socrates is made to say, " all things that grow 
trees and flowers and fruit are fairer than 
any here ; and there are hills and stones in them 
smoother and more transparent and fairer in color 
than our highly-valued emeralds and sardonyxes and 
jaspers and other gems, which are but minute frag 
ments of them : for there all the stones are like our 
precious stones, and fairer still. The temperament 
of their seasons is such that the inhabitants have 
no disease, and live much longer than we do, and 
have sight and hearing and smell and all the other 
senses in much greater perfection. And they have 
temples and sacred places in which the gods really 
dwell, and they hear their voices, and receive their 
answers, and are conscious of them, and hold con 
verse with them, and they see the sun, the moon, 
and the stars as they really are." 1 

If we ask as to the location of this divinely beau 
tiful abode, every indication of the text agrees with 
our hypothesis. It is right under the eye when 
the world is looked at from its summit, the North 
ern celestial pole. 2 Viewed from the standpoint of 
Greece and its neighbor lands it is " above" it 
is " the upper Earth" the dazzling top of the " round" 
world. In it, moreover, is the Navel of the Earth, 
/ueo-oycua, inhabited by happy men. 

If anything is needed to disprove the common no 
tion that geographical ignorance and national self- 
esteem first governed the ancient peoples in locating 
in their own countries " navels " of the earth, it is 
furnished by what is, in all probability, the oldest 
epic in the world, that of Izdhubar, fragments of 

1 Phcedo, 1 10, in. 



which have survived in the oldest literature of Baby 
lonia. These fragments show that the earliest in 
habitants of the Tigro-Euphrates basin located " the 
Centre of the Earth," not in their own midst, but in 
a far-off land, of sacred associations, where " the 
holy house of the gods" is situated, a land "into 
the heart whereof man hath not penetrated ; " a 
place underneath the " overshadowing world-tree," 
and beside the " full waters." 1 No description could 
more perfectly identify the spot with the Arctic Pole 
of ancient Asiatic mythology. Yet this testimony 
stands not alone ; for in the fragment of another 
ancient text, translated by Sayce in " Records of the 
Past," we are told of a " dwelling" which "the gods 
created for " the first human beings, a dwelling in 
which they " became great " and "increased in num 
bers," and the location of which is described in 
words exactly corresponding to those of Iranian, In 
dian, Chinese, Eddaic, and Aztec literature ; namely, 
"in the Centre of the Earth." 2 

In the Hindu Puranas we are told over and over 
that the earth is a sphere, and that Mount Meru is 
its Navel or Pole. 3 But the expression ndbhi, or 
" Navel " of the earth, is older than the Puranas, 
though the very meaning of Purana is "ancient." 
Like the term " Navel of Heaven," it occurs in the 

1 A. H. Sayce, Babylonian Literature. London, 1878 : p. 39. The 
Sunis of Northwestern Africa, in our own day, fix the centre of the 
world outside their own territory, " between themselves and the Sou 
dan." R. G. Haliburton, Notes on Mount Atlas and its Traditions. 
Salem, Mass., 1883 : P- 8 - 

2 Records of the Past, xi., pp. 109 seq. George Smith, Chaldaan 
Account of Genesis, 2d ed., p. 92. Lenormant, Beginnings of History, 
app., pp. 508-510. 

8 " The convexity in the centre is the navel of Vishnu." Asiatic. 
Researches, vol. viii., p. 273. 


hymns of the earliest Veda. But where was the 
sacred shrine to which it was applied ? It was no 
holy place in Bactria, or in the Punjab. Nothing 
tends to locate it in India. On the other hand, the 
fifth verse of the one hundred and eighty-fifth hymn, 
mandala first, of the Rig Veda, seems most plainly 
to fix it at the North Pole. In this verse Night and 
Day are represented as twin sisters in the bosom 
of their parents Heaven and Earth ; each bounding 
or limiting the other, but both kissing simultane 
ously the Ndbhi of the Earth. Now, everywhere 
upon earth, except in the polar regions, Night and 
Day seem ever to be pursuing and supplanting 
each other. They have no common ground. At 
the Pole and only there they may be said, with 
locked arms, to spin round and round a common 
point, and unitedly to kiss it from the opposite sides. 1 
This plainly is the meaning of the poet ; and re 
membering all the legendary splendors of the polar 
mountain around which sun and moon are ever mov 
ing, we must pronounce the figure as beautiful as 
it is instructive. 2 

1 The following versions may be compared : " Zusammenlcommend, 
die beiden Jungen, deren Enden zusammenstossen, die verbiindeteten 
Schwestern in der beiden Aeltern Schosse, kussend den Nabel der 
Welt, schiitzt uns, Himmel und Erde, vor Gewalt." Ludwig, i. 182. 

"Going always together, equally young and of like termination, 
sisters and kindred, and scenting \sic\ the navel of the world, placed 
on their lap as its parents ; defend us, Heaven and Earth, from great 
danger." Wilson, ii., 188. 

" Die Beiden Jungfraun an einander grenzend, 

" Die Zwillingsschwestern in dem Schoss der Eltern, 

" Die im Verein der Welten Nabel kiissen, 

" Beschirmt vor grauser Noth uns Erd und Himmel." 

(Grassmann, ii., 177.) 
Compare R. K, i., 144, 3 ; ii., 3, 6, and 7 ; et passim. 

2 A later poet has borrowed the same idea : 



In perfect accord herewith, we find the bard ask 
ing, in another hymn, where the Navel of the Earth 
is ; and in doing it he associates it as closely as pos 
sible, not with some central home-shrine in his own 
land, but with the extreme " End of the Earth" an 
expression used again and again, in ancient lan 
guages, for the Pole and its vicinity. 1 

Again, in another Vedic passage, the Navel of the 
Earth is located upon "the mountains," and this as 
sociation points us to the North. 2 Still stronger evi 
dence of its polar location is found in other hymns, 
where the supporting column of heaven the Atlas 
pillar of Vedic cosmology is described as stand 
ing in or upon the Navel of the Earth. 3 

Finally, so unmistakable is the Vedic teaching on 
this subject that a recent writer, after asserting with 
all his teachers that the cosmography of the Vedic 
bards was " embryonic," and their earth a " flat 
disk" overarched by a solid firmament, which was 
" soldered on to the edge of the disk at the horizon," 
nevertheless, later, in studying one of the cosmo- 
gonical hymns of DIrghatamas, the son of Mamata, 
reaches the conclusion that the singer had knowl 
edge both of the celestial and of the terrestrial Pole, 
and that, in seeking to answer the question as to the 

" Around the fire in solemn rite they trod, 

The lovely lady and the glorious god ; 

Like Day and starry Midnight when they meet 

In the broad plains at lofty Meru s feet." 

(Griffiths Translation of Kumara Sambhava, or The Birth of the War-God. 
London, 1879.) 

1 The following is Grassmann s translation : " Ich frage nach dern 
aussersten Ende der Erde, ich frage wo der Welt Nabel ist," etc 
Rig Veda, i., 164, 34 ; comp. 35. 

2 Rig Veda, ix., 82, 3. 

8 Ibid., ix., 86, 8 ; ix., 79, 4; ix., 72, 7, etc. 


birth-place of humanity, he locates it precisely at the 
point of contact between the polar mountain and 
the Pole of the northern sky. 1 

We have seen that, according to Old-Iranian tra 
dition also, man was created in the "central" divis 
ion of the earth. The primordial tree, which " kept 
the strength of all kinds of trees," was " in the vi 
cinity of the Middle of the Earth." 2 The primeval 
ox, which stood by the Paradise river when the de 
stroyer came, was " in the Middle of the Earth." 3 
Mount Taera (Pahl. : Terak), the celestial Pole, and 
Kakad-i-Daitik, the mountain of the terrestrial Pole, 
are each described in similar terms : the one as 
"Centre of the World," the other as "Centre of the 
Earth." 4 The expression Apdm Nepdt, the " Navel 
of the Waters," occurs in the Avestan writings again 
and again, and is always applied either to the world- 
fountain from which all waters proceed, or to the 
spirit presiding over it. 5 But as this world-foun- 

1 The reader will no doubt be glad to see the exact language : " Le 
contact de la terre et du ciel, serait-il 1 hymen mysterieux d oii 1 hu- 
manite naquit ? Le del, ce serait le pere qui engendre ; la mere, ce 
serait la grande terre, ayant sa matrice dans la partie la plus haute de 
sa surface, sur les hauts monts ; et ce serait la que le pere feconde- 
rait le sein de celle qui est en meme temps, son epouse et sa fille. 
On a cru voir ce point de contact dont parle Dirghatamas, Outta- 
n&yah tchamwah, endroit septentrional oil les deux surfaces se 
touchent/ au pole nord, connu de 1 auteur ; 1 etoile polaire se nom- 
mant outtanapada. II est certain que la somme des connaissances 
positives collectionees par ce philosophe etait relativement impor 
tant." Marius Fontane, Inde Vedique. Paris, 1881 : pp. 94, 200. 

2 West, Pahlavi Texts, pt. i., p. 161. 
8 West, Pahlavi Texts, pt. i., p. 162. 

4 Ibid., pp. 22, 36. So, in consequence of the duality and opposite 
polarity alluded to in the context, " Hell is in the middle of the earth," 
at the South Pole, p. 19. 

6 See Index to Darmesteter s Zend-Avesta. Compare the Vedic 
hymn (ii., 35), "An den Sohn der Wasscr," Apam nap&t, whose loca- 


tain, Ardvi Sura, is located in the north polar sky 
(see next chapter), we have here also a recognition 
of a vfQY\d.-omp/ialos, inseparable from the ancient 
and sacred Paradise-mountain at the Pole. 1 

The Chinese terrestrial Paradise is described not 
only as " at the Centre of the Earth," but also as 
directly under Shang-te s heavenly palace, which is 
declared to be in the North star, and which is some 
times styled " Palace of the Centre." 2 Very prob 
ably the historic designation, " The Middle King 
dom," was originally a sacred name, 3 commemora 
tive of that primeval middle country which the 
Akkadian called Akkad, the Indian Ilavrita, the Ira 
nian Kvaniras, and the Northman Idavollr. In the 
funeral rites of China, this supposition finds a co 
gent confirmation. 4 

tion is "a dent hochsten Orte" (v., 13, Grassmann). Compare quota 
tion from Ritter, in part iv., chapter first, supra. 

1 " Dieser Albordj, der Lichtberg, der Nabel der Erde, wird von 
Sonne Mond und Sternen umgeben." Carl Ritter, Erdkundc, Bd. 
viii., p. 46. 

2 " In Kwen-lun is Shang-te s lower recreation-palace. . . . Shang- 
te s wife dwells in this region, immediately over which is Shang-te s 
heavenly palace, which is situated in the centre of the heavens, as his 
earthly one is in the centre of the earth. . . . The Queen mother 
dwells alone in its midst, in the place where the genii sport. At the 
summit there is a resplendent azure hall, with lakes inclosed by pre 
cious gems, and many temples. Above rules the clear ether of the 
ever-fixed, the polar, star." Condensed from the Chinese Recorder, 
vol. iv., p. 95. 

3 Frederik Klee, Le Deluge. Paris, 1847 : p. 188, note. 

4 " Quand je vous ai parle des libations en usage a la Chine, je 
vous ai dit, Monsieur, qu on se tournait vers le pole septentrional 
pour faire les libations en 1 honneur des morts. En considerant la 
veneration de ce peuple pour ses ancetres, on n apergoit qu une expli 
cation naturelle de cet usage ; c est de dire que les Chinois se tour- 
nent vers le pays du monde, ou ils ont pris naissance, et oil leur an 
cetres reposent." Bailly, Lettres sur VOrigine des Sciences et sui 
celle des Peuples de VAsie. Paris, 1777 : p. 236. 


Passing to Japan, it is curiously interesting to 
note that the Ainos, who are supposed to have been 
the first inhabitants, are believed to have come into 
the archipelago " from the North ; " 1 that their 
heaven is on inaccessible mountain-tops in the same 
quarter ; 2 and that their name, according to some 
authorities, etymologically signifies " Offspring of 
the Centred 3 In burial, their dead are always so 
placed that when resurrected their faces will be set 
toward the lofty northern country from which their 
ancestors are believed to have come, and to which 
their spirits are believed to have returned. 4 

1 Griffis, The Mikado s Empire, p. 27. 

2 " These [a mythological pair] were the ancestors of the Ainos. 
Their offspring, in turn, married ; some among each other, others 
with the bears of the mountains [the Bear Tribe?]. The fruits of 
this latter union were men of extraordinary valor and nimble hunters, 
who, after a long life spent in the vicinity of their birth, departed to 
the far North, where they still live on the high and inaccessible table 
lands above the mountains ; and, being immortal, they direct, by 
their magical influences, the actions and the destiny of men ; that is, 
the Ainos." Ibid., p. 28. 

8 Ai-no-ko. Ibid., p. 29. 

4 " It may not be devoid of interest to mention here that the Ainos 
bury their dead with the head to the South. . . . The Aino, to-day, 
as he did in ancient times, buries his dead by covering the body with 
matting, and placing it with the head to the South in a grave which 
is about three feet deep." Notes on Japanese Archccology with es 
pecial reference to the Stone Age, by Henry von Siebold, Yokohama, 
1879, p. 6. Let no reader imagine this a meaningless rite of un 
developed savages. " From all these observations, as well as from 
the traditions of the Ainos, in which are ever-recurring laments for a 
better past ; and from many peculiarities in their customs, we must 
conclude that the Ainos are to be classed with those peoples that 
have earlier been more richly supplied with the implements of civili 
zation, but have become degraded through isolation. Prehistoric 
discoveries . . . favor this view. The pits found there for dwellings 
indicate that the Ainos came from the North to Yezo." Professor 
Brauns, of Halle. Translated from Memoirs of the Berlin Anthropo 
logical Society, in Science, Cambridge, 1884; p. 72. 


Taking these facts in connection with those pre 
sented in chapter second of the preceding part, 
one can hardly evade the conclusion that, when 
Griffis informs us that the Japanese considered their 
country as lying at "the top of the world," and when 
others say that the Japanese once regarded their 
country as the " Centre of the World," 1 it is most 
probable that these writers have applied to the 
Japan of to-day ideas which originally belonged to 
a far-distant prehistoric polar Japan, the primitive 
seat of the race, as it has lived on in these most 
ancient traditions of the Ainos. 

In Scandinavian mythology we meet with a sim 
ilar idea. In the Eddas, both Asgard and Idavollr 
are represented as in " the Centre of the World ; " 
and at least one author, in explaining the reason of 
it, has come within a hair s-breadth of the truth, 
though missing it. 2 

The ancient Mexicans conceived of the cradle of 
the human race as situated in the farthest North, 
upon the highest of mountains, cloud-surrounded, 

1 " The Japanese in their earlier separation regarded their country 
as the centre and most important part of the world." J. J. Rein, 
Japan, Travels and Researches, English translation. London, 1884 : 
p. 6. 

2 " Nos ancetres scandinaves pla9aient la demeure de leurs dieux, 
Asgard, au milieu du monde, c est-a-dire au centre de la surface de 
la terre d alors. II est assez remarquable qu une telle idee n est pas 
sans fondement, puisqu il faut admettre, comme je crois 1 avoir de- 
montre, que 1 Europe, 1 Asie, et 1 Amerique, unis vers le pole nord, 
formaient avant le deluge un seul continent." Frederik Klee, Le 
Deluge, Fr. ed. Paris, 1847 P- l88 n - But > b Y clinging to " the high 
est mountains of Asia," as the centre originally meant, M. Klee loses 
the chief advantage of his supposed union of the continents at the 
Pole. The Teutonic omphalos of the world is preserved at Finzingen, 
near Altstadt, in Saxe-Weimar. See Kuhn and Schwartz, Nord 
deutsche Sagen. Leipsic, 1848 : p. 215. 


the residence of the god Tlaloc. Thence come the 
rains and all streams, for Tlaloc is the god of waters. 
The first man, Quetzalcoalt, after having ruled as 
king of the Golden Age in Mexico, returned by 
divine direction to the primeval Paradise in the 
North (Tlapallan), and partook of the draught of 
immortality. The stupendous terraced pyramid- 
temple in Cholula was a copy and symbol of the 
sacred Paradise-mountain of Aztec tradition, which 
was described as standing " in the Centre of the 
Middle - country " 1 Some of the Mexican myths 
represent the mountain as now "crooked," or turned 
partly over. For the true explanation of this see 
above, pp. 192-196. 

Among the ancient Inca-subjects of Peru 2 was 

1 Im Centrum des Mittellands. Luken, Tradifionen, p. 75; citing 
Clavigero, Storia del Messico, torn, ii., 13, 14. " Die Mexicaner op- 
ferten auf den hochsten Bergen weil sie glaubten, dass auf ihnen 
Tlaloc, der Herr des Paradieses wohne. Sie wurden einerseits als 
der Mittelpunkt der Erde betrachtet, andererseits aber als die Statte, 
welche dem Himmel am ndchsten ist, und ihm in naherer Beriihrung 
als die Erde selbst steht." Keerl, Die Schb pfungsgeschichte, p. 799. 
In like manner the national temple of Tlaloc and Vizilputzli, his 
brother, stood in the centre of the city of Mexico, whence four cause 
way roads conducted East, West, North, and South. In the centre 
of the temple was a richly ornamented Pillar of peculiar sanctity. 
Bancroft, Native Races, vol. iii., p. 292. The Quiche prayer to 
the " Heart of Heaven, Heart of Earth," would seem to rest upon 
similar conceptions of the true abode of God. Popol Vuh. Max 
Miiller, Chips from a German Workshop. New York, 1872 : vol. i., p. 


2 "The centre and capital of this great territory was Cuzco (i. e., 
navel ), whence to the borders of the kingdom branched off four 
great highways, North and South and East and West, each traversing 
one of the four provinces or vice-royalties into which Peru was di 
vided." TheLandofthelncas, by W. H. Davenport Adams. Lon 
don, 1883 : P- 2O - ^ n tne central temple here, too, there was a Pillar, 
placte dans le centre d un cercle dans Vaxe du grand temple et tra- 
verstc -tar un diamttre de Vest a Pouest. P. Dabry de Thiersant, 


found the same idea of a Navel of the Earth, and 
even among the Chickasaws of Mississippi. 1 

Thus is all ancient thought full of this legendary 
idea of a mysterious, primeval, holy, Paradisaic 
Earth-centre, a spot connected as is no other 
with the "Centre of Heaven," the Paradise of God. 
Why it should be so no one has ever told us ; but 
the hypothesis which places the Biblical Eden at the 
Pole, and makes all later earth navels commemora 
tive of that primal one, affords a perfect explana 
tion. In the light of it, there is no difficulty in 
understanding that Earth-centre in Jerusalem with 
which we began. The inconspicuous pillar in the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre symbolizes and com 
memorates far more than the geographical ignorance 
of mediaeval ages. It stands for the Japanese pillar 
by which the first soul born upon earth mounted to 
the sky. It stands for the World -column of the 
East-Aryans and the Chinvat Bridge of Iran. It 
stands for the law-proclaiming pillar of orichalcum 
in Atlantis, placed in the centre of the most central 
land. It stands for that Talmudic pillar by means 
of which the tenants of the terrestrial Paradise 
mount to the celestial, and, having spent the Sab- 

De rOrigine des Indiens du Nouveau- Monde et de leur Civilisation. 
Paris, 1883 : p. 125. Still more interesting is it to note that the pre 
decessors of the Peruvians are reported to have had an idea of the 
work of the creation of the world as proceeding from the North to the 
South. Dorman, Origin of Primitive Superstitions. Philadelphia, 
1881, p. 334- 

1 " Some of the large mounds left in Mississippi were called 
navels* by the Chickasaws, although the Indians are said not to 
have had any idea whether these were natural mounds or artificial 
structures. They thought Mississippi was at the centre of the earth^ 
and the mounds were as the navel in the middle of the human body." 
Gerald Massey, referring to Schoolcraft, i. 311. 


bath, return to pass the week below. It symbol 
izes Cardo, Atlas, Meru, Hara-berezaiti, Kharsak- 
Kurra, every fabulous mountain on whose top 
the sky pivots itself, and around which all the heav 
enly bodies ceaselessly revolve. It perpetuates a 
religious symbolism which existed in its region be 
fore ever Jerusalem had been made the Hebrew 
capital, recalling to our modern world the tabbur 
ha-aretz of a period anterior to the days of Samuel. 1 
In tradition it is said to mark the precise spot 
" whence the clay was taken, out of which the body 
of Adam was modeled." It does so, but it does it 
in a language and method which were common to 
all the most ancient nations of the earth. It points 
not to the soil in which it stands, but to the holier 
soil of a far-away primitive Eden. 2 

1 Judg. ix, 37 (margin). 

2 The genuinely scientific basis of this ancient symbolism is vividly 
shown in our above given sketch-map of the actual relations of all 
the continents to the North Pole. 



Als ich erfunden han. 
Us dent paradise ran 
Zufuhten baum undgras, 
Und alles das darynne -was, 
Zu guter moss ein wasser gross, 
Das in vier teil darnache floss. 


Wir haben hier ein merkwurdiges Stromsystem. GRILL. 

"AND a river went out of Eden to water the 
garden, and from thence it was parted and became 
into four heads." 

In chapter second of Part Second we presented 
the simple and natural interpretation suggested by 
the hypothesis of a primitive circumpolar continent. 
If the reader will kindly turn back to the statement 
there made (p. 5 i), he will see in how natural a man 
ner the water system of that lost " land of delights " 
might have become, in after tradition, the one dis 
parted river which waters the whole earth. 

The insuperable difficulties of all hitherto at 
tempted identifications of the four rivers are too nu 
merous to present here in detail. 1 In our interpreta- 

1 " We entirely agree with Delitzsch [the elder] that Paradise is 
lost, and the four streams are on this account a riddle which cries, 
Where is Paradise ? the question remaining without an answer." 
Ebers, ALgypten und die Biicher Mose, p. 30. See McClintock and 
Strong s Cyclop&dia, Arts. " Gihon," " Pison," " Eden," etc. 
" Wherever there is a river-head that can be made to run on all-fours, 
even by assuming the existence of water-channels no longer extant, 


tion the original river is from the sky ; the division 
takes place on the heights at the Pole, and the four 
resulting rivers are the chief streams of the circum- 
polar continent as they descend in different direc 
tions to the surrounding sea. Does such a view 
find any support in the traditions of the ancient 
world ? 

That it does will be clear to any one who has 
carefully read thus far. Let us take the rivers of 
the Persian cradle of the race. Where do they rise ? 
If the investigator of this question have made no 
previous studies in Comparative Sacred Hydrog 
raphy, he will be surprised to find that in Persian 
thought, not only the Paradise rivers, but also all 
the rivers of the whole earth, have but one head 
spring and but one place of discharge. 

This head-spring is the Ardvi-Sura, situated in 
heaven, the heaven of the Pole. " This heavenly 
fountain," says Haug, summarizing the contents of 
the Aban Yasht, " this heavenly fountain has a 
thousand springs and a thousand canals, each of them 
forty days journey long. Thence a channel goes 
through all the seven keshvares, or regions of the 
earth, conveying everywhere pure celestial waters." * 

the Biblical Eden has been discovered, whether in Asia, Africa, 
Europe, or America." Gerald Massey, The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., 
p. 162. We may add that Mr. Samuel Johnson s suggestion (Oriental 
Religions ; Persia. Boston, 1885 : p. 253), to the effect that the " four 
rivers " of the Hebrew story consisted of two real rivers, the Tigris and 
the Euphrates, plus two imaginary " words, that simply mean flowing 
waters, and that were used as generic terms for the purpose of mak 
ing up the number four, the conventional sign of completeness in all 
Eastern mythologies," is a characteristic specimen of the unschol- 
arly and dogmatic caprice of pantheistic exegesis in the field of an 
cient religious ideas and their history. 

1 Essays, 2d ed., p. 198. See Darmesteter s translation : " From 
this river of mine alone flow all the waters that spread all over the 


The following is an ancient invocation to Ana- 
hita, the spirit of these heavenly waters : " Come 
before me, Ardvi-Sura Anahita ! come down from 
yonder stars on to the earth created by Ahura- 
Mazda ! Thee shall worship the handy lords, the 
rulers of countries, sons of the rulers of countries." l 

From its elevation the heavenly height is called 
Hugar, i. e., " the lofty : " " Hugar, the lofty, is the 
mount from which the water of Ardvi-Sura leaps 
down the height of a thousand men." 2 Again it is 
written, " Hugar, the lofty, on which the water of 
Ardvi-Sura flows and leaps, is the chief of summits, 
since it is that above which is the revolution of 
Sataves, the chief of reservoirs." 3 

As all the rivers of the earth s seven regions, so 
all lakes and seas and the ocean itself, are from this 
one celestial fountain. "Through the warmth and 
clearness of the water, purifying more than other 

seven keshvares ; this river of mine alone goes on bringing waters 
both in summer and in winter." The Zend-Avesta, Pt. ii., pp. 52-84. 

1 Haug, Ibid., p. 198. Darmesteter, Ibid., p. 73. 

2 Bundahish (West), xii. 5. The Zend-Avesta (Darmesteter), ii. 


8 Bundahish, xxiv. 17. When West (Pahlavi Texts, Pt. i., p. 35, 
note 6) uses the last clause of this quotation to show that the loca 
tion of Hugar is " probably " in the western quarter, his argument 
rests upon two mistakes, both of which seem to be shared by all 
modern Avestan students. The first mistake is to suppose Sataves a 
different star from Tishtar (Tijtrya) ; and the second is the notion 
that Tishtar was the star now called Sirius. The fact is that orig 
inally Satavaesa and Ti-rtrya were simply two designations for one 
and the same object, and that object was not our Sirius, but the Pole 
star. I say our Sirius, because there is evidence that this name also 
once belonged to a very different heavenly body, and to one situated 
in " die Mitte des Himmels" i. e., at the Pole. (Ideler, Sternennamen, 
p. 216.) Hugar (Hukairya) is the heavenly height of the polar sky, 
high above Hara-berezaiti, whenever this term is applied, as originally, 
to the terrestrial polar mount. Abdn Yasht, 88. See Windischmann, 
Zoroastrische Studien,^. 171. 


waters, everything continually flows from the source 
Ardvi-Sura." * However named, all waters are sim 
ply portions of the same heaven-descending stream. 
" The other innumerable waters and rivers, springs 
and channels, are one in origin with those, so in va 
rious districts and various places they call them 
by various names." 2 Even plant-sap, and blood, and 
milk, and all the seventeen kinds of liquid enumer 
ated in the Yashts, are parts of the one cosmic cur 
rent. "All these, through growth, or the body which 
is formed, mingle again with the rivers, for the body 
which is formed and the growth are both one." 3 

Everything of a liquid nature, therefore, in the 
whole world is conceived of as proceeding from one 
source high in the north-polar sky. Whither is it 
tending ? What becomes of it all in the end ? 
Where do its myriad rills and rivers at last dis 
charge ? As according to the cosmological concep 
tion so often illustrated in these pages, all start from 
the zenith, we should naturally expect all to reunite 
at last in the nadir. This is found to be the fact. 
But in this nether gathering place the waters, now 
polluted from their contact with all the filth and 
vileness of the world, are not allowed to rest and ac- 

1 Bundahish, ch. xiii., 3. The chapter on Seas. 

2 Ibid., xx. 33. Ranha, the original Avestan name of the world- 
river, became corrupted into Arahh&m Arang Aring and finally 
into Arg. Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, pp. 187, 189. 

3 Ibid., xxi. 2. Henry Bowman, in his Eighteen Hundred and 
Eighty-one ; or the End of the son (St. Louis, Mo., 1884, p. 36), 
gives the following remarkable interpretation to the heaven-descend 
ing river : " The throne of God is the apex, culmination, directly 
over the pole s axis, and so in the centre of the city, corresponding 
to the tree of life, which in the old creation was situated in the centre 
of the garden, from which proceeds the ELECTRICAL CURRENT, the 
pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal. " 


cumulate. 1 This cesspool of the universe has 
vious bottom. By the various processes of strain 
ing, vaporizing, aeration, etc., the polluted waters 
are by Tishtar brought back distilled and purified, 
and are re-discharged into the zenith-reservoir which 
perpetually supplies the gushing streams of Ardvi- 
Sura. 2 Into such a marvelously complete cosmical 
circulatory water system did the Iranic imagination 
develop the primitive head - stream of Eden. But 
never, even in the most extravagant mythological 
adornments of the idea, was it for a moment forgot 
ten that the original undivided stream originates in 
the north polar sky ; and that its division into earthly 
streams and rivers is on the holy mount which 
stands in the centre of Kvaniras, the central and 
circumpolar keshvare of the whole habitable earth. 3 
The various fragmentary allusions of the oldest 
Greek poets to Okeanos and the rivers would seem 
to imply the early existence, and perhaps early loss, 
of a similar Hellenic conception of the water cir 
culation of the entire earth. Thus, according to 
Homer s familiar couplet, it is from Okeanos, in 

1 This underworld is the long-misunderstood " cave," in which, in 
the Vedic myth, the demons try to imprison the stolen rain-cows, so 
that the earth may be cursed with drought. 

2 Ibid., xx. 4. Vendiddd, v. 16-19. More fully and graphically 
described in Dddist&n-i Dinik, ch. xciii. The ancient idea seems yet 
to survive in modern folk-lore : " In der Geschichte von Ikirma und 
Chuseima (in den Erzahlungen der 1001 Nachte) sitzen zwei Engel der 
eine in Gestalt eines Lowen, der andere in der eines Stieres vor einer 
Pforte, Wache haltend und Gott preisend. Die Pforte, welche nur der 
Engel Gabriel offnen kann, fiihrt zu einem von Rubingebirgen um- 
flossenen Meere, der Quelle aller Wasser auf Erden ; aus ihm schop- 
fen Engel die Gewasser der Welt bis zum Auferstehungstage." Justi, 
Geschichte des alten Persiens, 1879, P- 80. 

8 Compare Spiegel, Erdnische Alterthumskunde. Leipsic, 1871; 
vol. i., pp. 198-202. 


some application of the term, that " all rivers and 
every sea and all fountains flow." 1 Euripides pre 
sents the same idea. 2 There is, therefore, one foun 
tain of all the world s waters. The same conception 
is expressed by Hesiod in his Theogony, where all 
rivers, as sons, and all fountains and brooks, as 
daughters, are traced back to Okeanos. Then we 
have a constant descending movement of all waters 
until they reach the world-surrounding Ocean-river 
at the equator, beyond which is the Underworld. 
From this equatorial ocean, parting off from the 
southern or under shore, new branches diverge and 
form the river system of the Hadean kingdom. 
Other Underworld rivers were perhaps conceived of 
as percolating through the earth and emerging to 
the surface in the lower hemisphere. There is at 
least some evidence that the Greeks, like the Per 
sians, had this idea of interterranean water-courses, 
and even rivers, resembling the circulation of the 
blood in the human body. 3 Sometimes these Under 
world rivers are represented as four in number, thus 
making the circumpolar water system of the Under 
world a perfect counterpart of the Eden rivers at 
the summit of the upper hemisphere. 4 All, more 
over, like those of the Persian Underworld, seem to 
be plunging forward and ever downward, until in 
the last glimpse which the imagination can catch 
they are seen streaming from the roof of the grot 
of the goddess Styx, and, as Preller expresses it, 

1 Iliad, xxi. 195. 

2 Hippolytus, 119. 

8 Bundahish, viii. 4. 

4 " In der Unterwelt gab es ausser dem Styx noch drei Fliisse. 
Die Vierzahl entspricht derjenigen der vier Paradiesfliisse." Wolf 
gang Menzel, Die vorchristliche Unsterblichkeitslehre, vol. ii., p. 6. 


" falling thence, beneath the Earth, downward into 
the deep, deep Night." l 

Here, then, we have a unitary water system, em 
bracing the whole earth, and the remarkable Ho 
meric and Hesiodic term d^o/Spoo?, " refluent," may 
well imply that the Underworld -n-poxor), or " outflow," 2 
returns in nature s perfect order to feed its original 
fountain, thus conforming the whole, in every part, 
to the sacred hydrography of the Persians. 3 

Granting this, one should locate the Okeanos- 
fountain, not where Preller and Welcker and Volcker 
and the other mythographers have hitherto placed 
it, but in the farthest North, and in the sky. That 
this location was the original one is plain from all 
the local implications of the mythological accounts 
of the proper home of Okeanos and Tethys, and is 
further confirmed by many incidental evidences con 
nected with such myths as those of the Eridanus, 4 the 
Acheloos, the birth of Zeus, and particularly those 
of Atlas and his children. 5 

1 Preller, Griechische Mythologie, i. 29. Plato, in his cosmical 
sketch in Phasdo, makes the Hadean rivers pour into Tartaros. 

2 Odyssey, xx. 65. 

8 " Fountf ul Ida " corresponds almost perfectly to the Iranian 
Hugar, down whose sides leap and flow the waters of Ardvi-Sura. 
Moreover, in its very name Lenormant and others see a root connect 
ing it with Ilavrita, the circumpolar paradisaic varsha of Puranic 
geography. It should be added that to Ilavrita corresponds signifi 
cantly the Norse Idavollr, or " plain of Ida," which is " in the middle 
of the divine abode." Mallet, Northern Antiquities, p. 409. 

4 " Der Eridanus ist ursprunglich ein mythischer Fluss." Ideler, 
Ursprung der Starnennamen, p. 229. See especially Robert Brown, 
Jr., Eridanus. London, 1883. 

6 Compare the like conclusion of Grill, Die Erzvdter der Mensch- 
heit. Leipsic, 1875 : *> PP- 222 > 22 3- Grill also claims that the an 
cient Germans had a similar world-river, p. 223. I cannot help think 
ing that in the descending Ukko s stream and in the ascending Am- 
ma s stream of Finnish mythology we have traces of a like cosmic 


In the most ancient Akkadian, Assyrian, and Bab 
ylonian literature there are expressions which seem 
clearly to indicate the presence among these peo 
ples of a precisely similar conception with respect 
to the waters of the world. 1 The same is true of 
Egyptian literature, but in both these cases the data 
are as yet too meagre to make them entirely conclu 
sive in argument. 2 We therefore pass them by, and 
close with a glance at the Eden river of the ancient 
Aryans of India. 

This, as already seen, is the heaven-born Ganga. 
The Vedas call it "the river of the three worlds," 
for the reason that it flows through Heaven and 
Earth and the Underworld. In Vedic times "the 
original source and home of the waters was thought 
to -be the highest heaven (paramam vyoman\ the re 
gion peculiarly sacred to Varuna." 3 This is clearly 

water circulation. See Castren, Mythologie, p. 45. After reading the 
long note in Buxtorfii, Lexicon Chaldaicum, Talmudicum et Rabbini- 
cum, Lipsiae, 1865, pp. 341, 342, one could also readily believe that 
we have here the true origin of the two movements or paths set forth 
in the omnifluent philosophy of Heraclitus : r)]v 65b;/ KCT&>, and rV 
65bv 6.v(a. Again, " In the Edda all rivers derive their origin from 
that called liver gelmer" Asiatic Researches, vol. viii., p. 321. 

1 Attention is only called to the ancient Akkadian hymn given by 
George Smith, Assyrian Discoveries, pp. 392, 393 ; to the exceedingly 
interesting article by Professor Sayce on " The Encircling River of 
the Snake-God of the Tree of Life," in The Academy, London, Oct. 7, 
1882, p. 263 ; and finally to the instructive account of the Akkadian 
"mother of rivers" given in Lenormant s Origines, ii. i, p. 133, a 
citation from which has already been made on p. 171. See also Rob 
ert Brown, The Myth of Kirkt, p. no. 

2 " Die ^gypter wussten schon friihe von einem die Erde umflies- 
senden Strom." Grill, Die Erzvater der Menschheit, i., p. 277. 

8 E. D. Perry, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1882, p. 
134. He adds in a foot-note, " In the Veda, water and all corre 
sponding terms, such as stream, river, torrent, ocean, etc., are used 
indiscriminately of the water upon the earth and of the aqueous vapor 
in the sky or of the rain in the air." Compare M. Bergaigne : " L eau 


illustrated in scores of passages : for example, in the 
beautiful prayer for immortality, where the fourfold l 
head-spring of all waters is located in the sacred 
Centre of Heaven. 2 Sometimes the heaven-sprung 
stream is called the Sindhu, 3 sometimes the Saras- 
vati. 4 In the later Mahabharata its head-spring is 
placed in the heaven of Vishnu, high above the 
lofty Pole-star (Druva). On their descent the ethe 
real waters wash the Pole-star, and the Seven Rishis 
(the Great Bear), and the polar pivot of " the lu 
nar orb," 5 thence falling upon the top of beautiful 

des rivieres terrestres est reconnue identique par sa nature et son 
origine a celle des rivieres celestes," etc., etc. La Religion Vedique, 
torn, i., p. 256. See pp. 251-261. 

1 Rig Veda, ix. 74, 6. 

2 Rig Veda, ix. 113, 8. Grassmann translates it : 

" Wo Konig ist Vivasvats Sohn, 

Und wo des Himmels Heiligthum 

Wo ewig stromt des Wassers Born, 

Da mache du unsterblich mich." 

See the " Hymns to the Waters " generally, and particularly that ad 
dressed to Apdm Napdt, the "Navel of the Waters," R. V., ii. 35, 
comparing therewith the invocations to the " Navel of the Waters " 
in the Yashts. Darmesteter, Zend-Avesta, ii. 6 n., 12, 14, 20, 36, 38, 
39, 71, 94, 102, 202. Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, pp. 177- 

3 " Der vedische Inder redet von dem Sindhu /car e|o%^, dem 
Einen himmlischen Strom oder Weltstrom, in dem er die Gesammt- 
heit der atmospharischen Diinste und Wasser als in Bewegung be- 
griffener und die Erde rings umfliessender sich zur Anschauung 
bringt." Grill, Die Erzvater der Menschheit, Th. i., p. 197. 

4 See the Vedic passages in Bergaigne, La Religion Vedique, torn. 
i., pp. 325-328. 

5 Wilkins, Hindu Mythology. London, 1882 : p. 102. In Indian 
cosmology the lunar sphere is concentric with and includes the earth- 
sphere ; hence water falling perpendicularly from the celestial to the 
terrestrial pole can yet on its way " wash the lunar sphere. So too 
a mountain at the North Pole, if only high enough, will reach to the 
" lunar sphere." Such, in fact, was the case with the Paradise moun- 
tain of Indian cosmology, and traces of the idea live on in the Tal 


Meru. " On the summit of Meru," says the Vishnu 
Purana, " is the vast city of Brahma, . . . inclosed 
by the river Ganga, which, issuing from the foot of 
Vishnu and washing the lunar orb, falls here [on 
the top of Meru] from the skies, and, after encir 
cling the city, 1 divides into four mighty rivers, flow 
ing in opposite directions. These rivers are Si ta, 
the Alakananda, the Chakshu, and the Bhadra. The 
first, falling on the tops of the inferior mountains 
on the east side of Meru, flows over their crests, 
and passes through the country of Bhadraswa to 
the ocean. The Alakananda flows south to the 
country of Bharata, and, dividing into seven rivers 
on the way, falls into the sea. The Chakshu falls 
into the sea after traversing all the western moun 
tains and passing through Ketumala. And the 
Bhadra washes the country of the Uttarakurus and 
empties itself into the northern ocean." 2 

mud and in Patristic theology too plain for even Massey to render 
valueless : " Meru is shown to be the mount which reached to the 
moon and became a figure of the four lunar quarters. . . . Hence the 
tradition that Paradise was preserved during, or was exempt from, the 
Deluge because it was on the summit of a mountain that reached to 
the moon (Bereshith Rabba, xxxiii.) ; which shows the continuation 
of the typical mount of the seven stars into the lunar phase of time 
keeping, where the mount of the four quarters carried Eden with it." 
The Natural Genesis^ vol. ii., p. 244. 

1 Here is probably the origin of the curious notion of the Sabaeans 
touching the Euphrates. Or was the borrowing on the other side ? 
" Les Soubbas ont la certitude que 1 Euphrate, qui, d apres eux, 
prend sa source sous le trone d Avather (personnage qui preside au 
jugement des ames et dont le trone est place sous retoile polaire), 
passait autrefois a Jerusalem." M. N. Siouffi, La Religion des Soub 
bas ou Sabtens. Paris, 1880 : p. 7, note. Jehovah s city here takes 
the place of Brahma s. 

2 The Vishnu JPurana, Wilson s version, vol. vii., p. 120. Compare 
herewith the notions of the Chinese Buddhists : " With reference to 
this land of Jambu-dwipa [the earth], the Buddhists say that in the 


Here, again, as our interpretation of Genesis re 
quires, the four rivers traced back to their origin 
bring us to the summit of the earth at the Pole, 
to the one river which descends from the north polar 
sky. Curious confirmations of this primitive con 
ception come even from the most distant conti 
nents. 1 Late Christian legend shows evident traces 
of it, for in Maundeville s description of the Para 
dise-fountain he says, " All the sweet waters of the 
world above and beneath take their beginning from 
that well of Paradise ; " and again, " Out of that well 
all waters come and go" giving thus clear expres 
sion to the idea of a unitary cosmic water circula- 

midst of it is a centre (heart), called the lake A-nieou-to ( Anavataptu) ; 
it lies to the south of the Fragrant Mountains, and to the north of the 
great Snowy Mountains (Himavat). It is 800 li in circuit. In the 
midst of this lake is the abode of a Naga, who is in fact the trans 
formed appearance of Dasabhumi Bodhisatwa (or of the Bodhisa- 
twas of the ten earths). From his abode proceed four refreshing 
rivers, which compass Jambu-dwipa. At the east side of the lake, 
from the mouth of a silver ox, flows out the Ganges River. After 
compassing the lake once it enters the sea towards the southeast. 
From the south side of the lake, from the mouth of a golden elephant, 
flows the Sindhu [Indus] River. After compassing the lake once it 
enters the sea on the southwest. On the west side of the lake, flow 
ing from the mouth of a horse of lapis-lazuli, flows the river Foh-tzu 
(Vakshu, i. e., Oxus), which, after compassing the lake once, enters 
the sea on the northwest. On the north side of the lake, flowing 
from a crystal lion, flows the river Sida [Hoang-ho], which after mak 
ing one circuit flows into the sea on the northeast." Beal, Buddhist 
Literature in China. 1882 : p. 149- 

1 Thus in Africa, among the Damaras, " the highest deity is Oma- 
kuru, the Rain-giver, who dwells in the far North." E. B. Tylor, 
Primitive Culture, Am. ed., vol. ii., p. 259. So also in America: 
" Die alten Mexikaner glaubten, das Paradies liege auf dem hb chsten 
Berge, wo die Wolken sich versammeln, von wo sie Regen bringen, 
und von wo auch die Fliisse herabkommen." Luken, Traditionen, i., 
p. 115. And this Paradise-mountain was in the farthest North. See 
the pathetic prayer to Tlaloc in Bancroft, Native Races, vol. iii., pp. 
325-33 - 


tion. 1 So, again, in the apocryphal " Revelation of 
the Holy Apostle Paul," the angel who was showing 
the apostle the wonders of the heavenly city brought 
him to just such a World-river, whose spring was 
in heaven, but whose main body surrounded the 

"And he set me upon the river whose source 
springs up in the circle of heaven, and it is this river 
which encircleth the whole earth. And he says unto 
me : This river is Ocean." 2 

1 Compare verses 482-487 of the Old German legend of Brandan 
in Carl Schroeder, Sanct Brandan. Erlangen, 1871 : p. 6l : 

" Vor dem sale stunt ein brunne, 

" uz dem vloz milch und win, 

" waz mohte wunderlicher sin. 

" ouch olei und honicseim daruz vloz 

" daz an vier enden sich ergoz." 

The editor (p. 105) connects this last line with the quadripartite 
river of Paradise, and the lines immediately following give it an un 
equivocally cosmical significance : 

" Von dem selben brunnen 

" haben die wurze saf gewunnen 

" die got liez gewerden ie." 

2 The Apocryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations. Ante-Nicene 
Christian Library, vol. xvi., p. 483. 



The Tree of Life, 
The middle tree, and highest there that grew. 


Sowohlder Apfelbaum und die Quelle, als auch der Drache des Hesperidengar~ 
tens, werden in den Mythen und Mdrchen der meisten Volker in das Centrum der 
Natur, an den Gipfel des Weltberges, an den Nordpol verlegt, WOLFGANG 

IN the centre of the Garden of Eden, according 
to Genesis iii. 3, there was a tree exceptional in 
position, in character, and in its relations to men. 
Its fruit was "good for food," it was " pleasant to 
the eyes," " a tree to be desired." * At first sight it 
would not perhaps appear how a study of this tree 
in the different mythologies of the ancient world 
could assist us in locating primitive Paradise. In 
the discussions of such sites as have usually been 

1 Was this "tree of knowledge " identical with the " tree of life " ? 
Possibly. " The tradition of Genesis," says Lenormant, Beginnings, 
p. 84, " at times appears to admit two trees, one of Life and one of 
Knowledge, and again seems to speak of one only, uniting in itself 
both attributes (Gen. ii. 17 ; iii. 1-7)." Compare Ernst von Bunsen, 
Das Symbol des Kreuzes bei alien Nationen. Berlin, 1876 : p. 5. To 
make the whole account relate to one tree it would only be necessary 
first to translate the last clause of ch. ii. 9 " the tree of life also in the 
midst of the garden, even the tree of knowledge of good and evil ; " 
and then the last clause of ch. iii. 22 " and now lest he continue to 
put forth his hand and to take of the tree of life," etc., for both of 
which constructions there are abundant precedents, if only the gam 
be rendered with the freedom used in some other passages. As to 
the first, see I Sam. xvii. 40 ; xxviii. 3 ; Dan. iv. 10 ; as to the second, 
the Hebrew grammars on the use of the future. Compare also Prov. 
iii. 13, 1 8, where wisdom is a tree of life. 


proposed it could not ; but if the Garden of Eden 
was precisely at the North Pole, it is plain that a 
goodly tree standing in the centre of that Garden 
would have had a visible and obvious cosmical signif 
icance which could by no possibility belong to any 
other. Its fair stem shooting up as arrow-straight as 
the body of one of the " giant trees of California," far 
overtopping, it may be, even such gigantic growths 
as these, would to any one beneath have seemed 
the living pillar of the very heavens. Around it 
would have turned the " stars of God," as if in hom 
age ; through its topmost branches the human wor 
shiper would have looked up to that unmoving 
centre-point where stood the changeless throne of 
the Creator. How conceivable that that Creator 
should have reserved for sacred uses this one natural 
altar-height of the Earth, and that by special com 
mand He should have guarded its one particular 
adornment from desecration ! (Gen. ii. 16, 17.) If 
anywhere in the temple of nature there was to be 
an altar, it could only be here. That it was here 
finds a fresh and unexpected confirmation in the sin 
gular agreement of many ancient religions and my 
thologies in associating their Paradise-Tree with the 
axis of the world, or otherwise, with eqttal unmistak- 
ableness, locating it at the Arctic Pole of the Earth. 1 
That the Northmen conceived of the universe as 

1 " The Mythical Tree, like the Pillar and the Mount, is a type of 
the celestial Pole." Massey, The Natural Genesis, vol. i., p. 354. The 
arguments of Professor Karl Budde in favor of eliminating the Par 
adise-tree from the original Genesis account of the Garden of Eden 
betray a strange lack of insight. Die biblische Urgeschichte. Giessen, 
1883 : pp. 45-88. Even Kuenen refuses to entertain so arbitrary a 
notion, and M. Reville well exclaims, What would a Paradise be with 
out VArbre de Vie ! 


a tree (the Yggjjrasfl) is well known to ordinary 
readers. Its roots are in the lowest hell, its mid- 
branches inclose or overarch the abode of men, its 
top reaches the highest heaven of the gods. It was 
their poetical way of saying that the whole world 
is an organic unity pervaded by one life. As the 
abode of the gods was in the north polar sky, the 
summit of the tree was at that point, its base in 
the south polar abyss, its trunk coincident with the 
axis of heaven and earth. 1 It was, therefore, in po 
sition and in nature precisely what an idealizing 
imagination magnifying the primitive tree of Para 
dise to a real World-tree would have produced. 2 

But while most readers are familiar with this 
Norse myth, few are aware how ancient and univer 
sal an idea it represents. This same tree appears 
in the earliest Akkadian mythology. 3 And what is 
precisely to our purpose, it stood, as we have before 
seen, at * the Centre " or Pole of the earth, where 
is " the holy house of the gods." * It is the same 

1 Mencel, * Dieses Sinnbfld entsteht urspriinglich aus der Vorstel- 
lung der Weltachse." Dit vorckristkcke UnsterWchkatslthre, i. 70. 

* See * Les Cosmogonies Aryennes," par J. Darmesteter, Remit 
Critique. Paris, 1881 : pp. 470-4761 

* " By the full waters grew the giant overshadowing tree, 1 the 
Yggdrasfl of Noise mythology, whose branches were of lustrous 
crystal, rTtrrwfing downwards even to the deep.** Sayce, Babylonian 
Literature, p. 39. Compare Lepormant, Btgmmimgs of History, pp. 83- 
107. Hid Professor Finzi duly considered the Tree of Life in Ak 
kadian tradition, he could hardly have felt " constrained " to ascribe 
the origin of the sacred tree of the Awjifo* fy^ipw*^ *P "Aryan, 
ore particularly Iranian influences." Ricfrche per lo Studio delT 
Amtickiti Assira, p. 553, note. 

* " In Eridu a dark pine grew. It was planted in a holy place. 
Its crown was crystal white, which spread towards the deep vault 
above. The abyss of Hea was its pasturage in Eridu, a canal full of 
waiers. Its station was the centre of this earth. Its shrine was the 
couch of Mother ZHram. The (roof) of its holy house like a forest 


tree which in ancient" Egyptian mythology 

die sarcophagus of Osiris, and out of which the 
.-;.. ._ .: . ..:- : =--.-;_ ".:.-: :..:-....-: ". : :..- :.- . -j 
to be taken. But this was only aM*Jn*r form of 
the Tat-piilar, which is the axis of the world. 1 In 
the light of comparative cosmology it is quite im 
possible to agree with Mr. Renouf in his treatment 
of the Tree in Egyptian mythology. It is neither 
" the rain cloud," nor " the light morning cloud," nor 
"the transparent mist on the horizon." His own 
citations of texts dearly show that under all its 
names the Egyptian Tree of Life is a true World- 
tree, whose trunk is coincident in position and direc- 

spread ks shade. There wnc one who i fcn il mat withii JL It 

- :-- 
1 "It was most fifcdfy at Monpbrs, too, Oat he [Flak] 

=.: 1 - .::;; - --.-.:: .:-: .- / : . : : : : ; 

" -- ; - :-: -. ? _-i.-; 

-i- - : ", . : ----:.- 
. :-:---. -: . - - 

1 . I - 

.- -: - r 

-- :- -- - i .:.- 

. - 1 . i : - - L.- 

of Osn 
trace of art, proves 

=:.- i-:i- :c , ; : : 

-,._. . . .., . . . . t . t ... 

%, pp. 44 47- See ai 

:: -:- n: .;: - : 2- 


tion with the axis of the world ; a tree in whose 
sky-filling branches Bennu, the sun-bird, is seated ; 
a tree from whose north polar top the " North- 
wind" proceeds; a tree which, like the Yggdrasil, 
yields a celestial rain that is as life-giving as Ardvi- 
Sura s, and that descends, not merely upon the fields 
of Lower Egypt, but, like Ardvi-Sura s, to the Under 
world itself, refreshing " those who are in Amenti" 1 
The super-terrestrial portion of the Egyptian s Ygg 
drasil, therefore, like that of the Northman s, 
stands at the Arctic Pole. 

The Phoenicians, Syrians, and Assyrians had each 
their sacred tree in which the universe was symbol 
ized. 2 In the lost work of Pherecydes the former 
is represented as a " winged oak." 3 Over it was 
thrown the magnificent veil, or peplos, of Harmo- 
nia, on which were represented the all-surrounding 
Ocean with his rivers, the Earth with its omphalos 
in the centre, the sphere of Heaven varied by the 
figures of the stars. 4 But as this self-interpreting 

1 SeeRenouf, " Egyptian Mythology, particularly with Reference to 
Mist and Cloud." Transactions of the Society for Biblical Arcktzology. 
London, 1884: pp. 217-220. A beautiful confirmation of our view 
is found in the important text in which " the abyss under the earth " 
(die Tiefe unter der Erde] is poetically expressed by the term "the 
cavity of the Persea (die Hbhle der Persea}. Brugsch s version, from 
which the above German expressions are taken, may be seen in the 
Zeitschrift fur Aegyptische Sprache und Alterthumskunde. Leipsic, 
1881 : pp. 77 ff. Surely no opening in an ordinary cloud could be 
called the subterranean deep. 

2 " W. Baudissin is wrong in supposing it unknown to the Phosni- 
cians." Lenormant, Beginnings of History, vol. i., p. 104 n. 

8 But Spvs was originally a generic term for tree. See Curtius, 
Etymologic, s. v. 

4 " This veil is identical with the starry peplos of Harmonia." 
Robert Brown, Jr., The Unicorn. London, 1881 : p. 89. The Myth 
of Kirke. London, 1883: p. 71. 


symbol was furnished with wings to facilitate its con 
stant rotation, it is plain that we have in it, not only 
a World-tree, but also one the central line of whose 
trunk is one with the axis of heaven and earth. 1 In 
the language of Maury, " It is a conception identi 
cal with the Yggdrasil of Scandinavian mythology." 2 
That section of the tree, therefore, which reaches 
from the abode of men into the holy heavens rises 
pillar-like from the Pole of the earth to the Pole of 
the sky. 

Among the Persians the legendary tree of Para 
dise took on two forms, according as it was viewed 
with predominant reference to the universe as an 
organic whole, or to the vegetable world as proceed 
ing from it. In the first aspect it was the Gaoke- 
rena (G6kard) tree, or " the white Horn " (Haoma = 
Soma) ; in the second, the "tree of all seeds," the 
" tree opposed to harm." Of the former it is writ 
ten, " Every one who eats of it becomes immortal ; 
. . . also in the renovation of the universe they pre 
pare its immortality therefrom ; it is the chief of 
plants." 3 Of the second we read, " In like manner 

1 " Thus the universe definitively organized by Zeus, with the assist 
ance of Harmonia, was depicted by Pherecydes as an immense tree, 
furnished with wings to promote its rotary motion, a tree whose roots 
were plunged into the abyss, and whose extended branches sustained 
the unfolded veil of the firmament decorated with the types of all ter 
restrial and celestial forms." Lenormant, Beginnings of History, p. 
549. Compare Louis de Ronchaud, " Le Peplos d Athene Parthe- 
ws," Revue Archeologique. Annee, xxiii. (1872) pp. 245 seq., 309^^., 
390 seq. ; xxiv. 80 seq. Also W. Svvartz, " Das Halsband cler Har 
monia und die Krone der Ariadne." Neue JahrbUcher der Philologie, 
1883 : pp. 115-127. This writer s view of the connection of the Hals- 
band with the foot of the Yggdrasil is very curious and not wholly 

2 Religions de la Grhe Antique, iii. 253. 

8 Bimdahishy xxvii. 4. Compare the Vendiddd, Farg. xx. 


as the animals, with grain of fifty ana five species 
and twelve species of medicinal plants, have arisen 
from the primeval ox, so ten thousand species among 
the species of principal plants, and a hundred thou 
sand species among ordinary plants, have grown 
from all these seeds of the tree opposed to harm, 
the many-seeded. . . . When the seeds of all these 
plants, with those from the primeval ox, have arisen 
upon it, every year the bird (Kamros) strips that 
tree and mingles all the seeds in the water ; Tishtar 
seizes them with the rain-water and rains them on 
to all regions." x 

Where stood this tree which, in its dual form, was 
at once the source of all other trees and the giver 
of immortality ? Every indication points us to the 
northern Pole. It was in Airan-Vej, 2 the Persian 
Eden, and this we have already found. It was at 
the source of all waters, the north polar fountain 
of Ardvi-Sura. 3 It was begirt with the starry girdle 
of the zodiacal constellations, which identifies it with 
the axis of the world. 4 It grew on u the highest 
height of Hara-berezaiti," 5 and this is the celestial 
mountain at the Pole. Finally, although Grill mis- 

1 Ibid., xxvii. 2, 3. 

2 Bundahish, xxix. 5. 

3 Ibid., xxvii. 4. Compare Windischmann : " Also der Baum des 
Lebens wachst in dem Wasser des Lebens, in der Quelle Ardvigura 
Anahita." Zoroastrische Studien. Berlin, 1863 : p. 171. 

4 Homa Yasht, 26. Haug, Essays, 2d ed., p. 182. 

5 Yasht, IX. (Gosh.), 17. Compare Bundahisk,xvm., as translated 
by Justi and Windischmann. See Grill, Die Erzvater, i., pp. 186- 
191. Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, p. 165 seq. Spiegel, 
Er&nisckc Alterthumskunde, i. 463 seq. It is by no means inconsis 
tent herewith that, according to the Minokhired, the tree grows in the 
sea Var-Kash " am verborgensten Orte," since this statement has ref 
erence to the subterranean rooting of the tree in the lowest part of the 
Underworld. Kuhn, Herabkunft, p. 124. 


takenly makes the Chinvat bridge " correspond with 
the Milky Way and the rainbow," he nevertheless 
correctly discerns some relationship between Chin- 
vat and the Persian Tree of Life. 1 By this identi 
fication we are again brought to the one unmistak 
able location toward which all lines of evidence 
perpetually converge. 

The Aryans of India, as early as in the far-off 
Vedic age, had also their World-tree, which yielded 
the gods their soma, the drink which maintains im 
mortality. As we should anticipate, its roots are in 
the Underworld of Yama at the hidden pole, its top 
in the north polar heaven of the gods, its body is the 
sustaining axis of the universe. 2 Weber long ago 
expressly identified it with the World-ash of the 
Edda ; 3 and Kuhn, 4 Senart, 5 and all the more recent 
writers accept without question the identification. 
Grill s interesting sketch of the historic develop 
ments of the myth may be seen in the Appendix to 
this volume. 6 Some of the late traces of it in Hindu 

1 Grill, Ibid., p. 191. Compare the original Zend invocation in the 
Homa Yasht : " Amereza gayeh$ stdna" "O imperishable Pillar of 
Life" Haug, Essays, p. 177 n. 

2 Rig Veda, x. 135, i ; Atharvan Veda, vi. 95, 1. See Kuhn, Herab- 
kunft des Feuers und des Gottertranks. Berlin, 1859: p. 126 seg. J. 
Grill, Erzvater, i., pp. 169-175. Obry, Le Berceau de FEsphe Hu- 
niaine, pp. 146-160. Windischmann, Zoroastrische Studien, pp. 176, 
177. It is true that the roots of this divine Afvattha are sometimes 
represented as in the heaven of the gods, its growth being downwards ; 
but this is only to symbolize the emanation of Nature and of Nature s 
life from the divine source, as clearly expressed in the opening verses 
of the fifteenth reading of the Bhagavad Glta. See John Davies 
translation, London, 1882, p. 150 ; and for a parallel, M. Wolff, Mu- 
bammedanische Eschatologie, Leipsic, 1872, p. 197. 

8 Indische Studien, Bd. i., p. 397. 
* Herabkunft,z\.z., p. 128. 

5 La Legende du Bouddha, p. 240. 

6 See APPENDIX, Sect. V. 


art betray the ancient conception of the Pole as a 
means of ascent to heaven, a bridge of souls and 
of the gods, a stair substituted for the slippery pil 
lar up which the Tauist emperor vainly sought to 
climb. 1 

Among the Greeks 2 it is more than probable that 
the " holy palm " in Delos, on which Leto laid hold 
at the birth of Apollo, represents the same mythical 
World-tree. If so, and if we follow Hecataeus in 
locating the scene, we shall be brought to the Arc 
tic Pole. 3 The eternally flourishing olive of Athene 
(Euripides, Ion 1433) seems also but another form 
of the holy palm, and this in some of its descrip 
tions brings us again to the land of the Hyperbo- 

1 " In the Naga sculptures (Fergusson, Tree and Serpent Worship, 
pi. 27), the Tree of the Mount or Pole is identified at the bottom by 
one tree, and at the top by another, and between the two there is a 
kind of ladder, with a series of steps or stairs which ascend the tree, 
in the place of a stem. These denote the Tree of the Ascent, Mount, 
or Height, now to be considered as representing the Pole." G. Mas- 
sey, The Natural Genesis, vol. i., p. 354. 

2 Kuhn, Herabkunft, etc., pp. 133-137. 

8 Menzel, Unsterblichkeitslehre, i. 89. Its " central " position with 
respect to the world of men is recognized by old Robert Burton in 
his Anatomy of Melancholy, New York, 1849, P- 2 9 2 - Compare 
Massey : " The Tree of the Pole is extant in Celebes, where the na 
tives believe that the world is supported by the Hog, and that earth 
quakes are caused when the Hog rubs itself against the Tree. . . . 
At Ephesus they showed the Olive and Cypress Grove of Leto, and 
in it the Tree of Life to which the Great Mother clung in bringing 
forth her twin progeny. There also was the Mount on which Hermes 
announced the birth of her twins Diana and Apollo [sun and moon]. 
The imagery is at root the same as the Hog rubbing against the Tree 
of the Pole." The Natural Genesis, vol. i., p. 354. And again, the 
cosmical imagery of Hesiod : " Das leitende Bild eines Baumes, des- 
sen Stamm sich von den Wurzeln erhebt und oben ausbreitet, tritt in 
den Worten der Theogonie v. 727 : vom Tartarus aufwarts seien die 
Wurzeln der Erde und des Meeres, deutlich hervor." W. F. Rinck, 
Die Religion der Hellenen. Zurich, 1853 : Bd. i., p. 60. 


reans. 1 In the Garden of the Hesperides, the tree 
which bore the golden apples was unquestionably 
the Tree of Paradise ; but following ^Eschylus, Pher- 
ecydes, and Apollodorus, we must place it in the 
farthest North, beyond the Rhipaean mountains. 2 
Traces of the same mythical conception among the 
Romans are presented by Kuhn. 3 

The sacred tree of the Buddhists figures largely 
in their sculpture. An elaborate specimen repre 
sentation may be seen on the well-known Sanchi 
Tope. One inconspicuous feature in the representa 
tion has often puzzled observers. Almost invariably, 
at the very top of the tree we find a little umbrella. 
So universal is this that its absence occasions re 
mark. 4 This little piece of symbolism has a curious 
value. In Buddhist mythological art the umbrella 
symbolizes the north polar heaven of the gods, 5 and 
by attaching it to the tip of the sacred tree the an 
cient sculptors of this faith unmistakably showed 
the cosmical character and axial position of that to 
which it was attached. 

But this cosmic tree was the mythical B6dhi tree, 
the Tree of Wisdom, - 

" Beneath whose leaves 
It was ordained that Truth should come to Buddh." 6 

1 Nonnus, Dionysiac, xl. 443 seq. Liiken, Traditionen, p. 74. 

2 Preller, Gr. Mythologie, i. 149. Volcker, Mythische Geographie. 
Leipsic, 1832 : p. 134. 

8 Herabkunfty etc., pp. 179, 180. 

4 James Fergusson, Tree and Serpent Worship. London, 2d ed., 
1873: pp. 134, 135. 

5 Lillie, Buddha and Early Buddhism. London, 1881 : pp. 2, 19. 
A different study of the cosmical nature of this tree may be found in 
Senart, Llgende du Bouddha. Paris, 1875 : PP* 2 39~ 2 44- 

6 Arnold, Light of Asia, Book vi. 


Its location is in " the Middle of the Earth." l Not 
withstanding his doctrine of an African origin of 
mankind, Gerald Massey says, " In the legendary 
life of Gautama, Buddha is described as having to 
pass over the celestial water to reach Nirvana, which 
is the land of the Bodhi Tree of Life and Knowl 
edge. He was unable to cross from one bank to the 
other, but the spirit of the Bodhi tree stretched out 
its arms to him and helped him over in safety. By 
aid of this tree he attained the summit of wisdom 
and immortal life. It is the same Tree of the Pole 
and of Paradise all mythology through. The Tree of 
the Guarani garden, the Hebrew Eden, the Hindu 
Jambu-dwipa, is likewise the Tree of Nirvana. This 
final application of the imagery proves its origin. 
The realm of rest was first seen at the polar centre 
of the revolving stars." 2 

The ancient Germans called their World-tree the 
Irmensul, i. e., " Heaven-pillar." Grimm speaks of 
its close relationship with the Norse Yggdrasil, and 

1 " The Buddhists assert that this tree marks the middle of the 
earth." E. C. Brewer, Dictionary of Miracles. Philadelphia, 1884: 

P- 3H- 

2 The Natural Genesis, vol. ii., 90. On the independence of the 
Buddhist cosmogony and cosmology Beal remarks, " But whilst we 
may regard Buddhism in the light of a reformation of the popular 
belief in India, we must bear in mind that the stream of tradition 
which reappears in its teaching, and may be traced in its books, is in 
dependent and probably distinct from the Brahmanical traditions 
embodied in the Puranas and elsewhere. At any rate, this is the case 
so far as the primitive question of creation and of the cosmic system 
generally is concerned. Mr. Rhys Davids has already remarked that 
the Buddhist archangel or god Brahma is different from anything 
known to the Brahmans, and is part of an altogether different system 
of thought (Bitddhist Suttas, p. 168 n.). I am inclined to go further 
than this, and say that the traditions of the Buddhists are different 
from those of the Brahmans in almost every respect." Samuel Beal, 
Buddhist Literature in China. London, 1882 : p. 146. 


lends his high authority to the view that it was sim 
ply a mythical expression of the idea of the world s 
axis. 1 The same view was advanced still earlier 
by the distinguished Icelandic mythographer, Finn 
Magnusen. 2 How profoundly the myth affected me 
diaeval Christian art is illustrated in many places, 
among the rest in the sculptures on the south portal 
of the Baptistery at Parma. 3 It is also not without 
a deep significance that "in the mediaeval legend of 
Seth s visit to the Garden of Eden, to obtain for his 
dying father the Oil of Compassion, the Tree of Life 
which he saw lifted its top to heaven and sent its 
root to hell; " 4 and that on the crucifixion cf Christ, 
himself the 

" Arbor, qu<z ab initio posita est," 

this cosmical Tree of the Garden died, and became 
the " Arbre Sec" of mediaeval story. 6 

1 " Mir scheint auch die im deutschen Alterthum tief gegriindete 
Vorstellung von der Irmensdule, jener altissima, universalis columna 
quasi sustinens omnia, dem Weltbaum Yggdrasil nah verwandt." 
J. Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, p. 759. Compare pp. 104-107. 

2 Den aellre Edda. Kjobenhavn, 1822 : Bd. ii., 61. Compare the 
following : " Yggdrasil has never been satisfactorily explained. But 
at all events the sacred tree of the North is, no doubt, identical with 
the robur Jovis? or sacred oak of Geismar, destroyed by Boniface, 
and the Irminsul of the Saxons, the columna universalis, the terres 
trial tree of offerings, an emblem of the whole world as far as it is 
under divine influence." Thorpe, Northern Mythology , vol. i., p. 155. 

8 See F. Piper, Evangelischer Kalender fur 1866, pp. 35-80 (illus 
trated). Also Piper s " Baum des Lebens," in the same Kalender for 
1863, pp. 17-94. 

4 Gubernatis, Zoological Mythology. London, 1872 : vol. ii., p. 
411, note. 

6 The Book of Marco Polo. Edition of Col. H. Yule. London, 
1871 : pp. 120-131. Notice particularly the picture on p. 127, which 
corrects Polo s blunder in confounding the Arbre Sol with the Arbre 
Sec, The bird at the top of the central and highest of the trees de 
picted conclusively identifies it with the World- tree of universal Ar 
yan tradition. On this bird see Kuhn. 


The Paradise-tree of the Chinese Tauists is also 
a World-tree. It is found in the centre of the en 
chanting Garden of the Gods on the summit of the 
polar Kwen-lun. Its name is Tong, and its location 
is further denned by the expression that it grows 
"hard by the closed Gate of Heaven." l As in many 
of the ancient religions, the mount on which, after 
the Flood, the ark rested was considered the same 
as that from which in the beginning the first man 
came forth, it is not strange to find the tree on the 
top of the mountain of Paradise remembered in 
some of the legends of the Deluge. In the Tauist 
legend it seems to take the place of the ark. Thus 
we are told that " one extraordinary antediluvian 
saved his life by climbing up a mountain, and there 
and then, in the manner of birds plaiting a nest, he 
passed his days on a tree, whilst all the country be 
low him was one sheet of water. He afterwards 
lived to a very old age, and could testify to his late 
posterity that a whole race of human beings had 
been swept from the face of the earth." 2 

It is at least suggestive to find this same idea of 
salvation from a universal deluge by means of a mi 
raculous tree growing on the top of the divine 
Mountain of the North among the Navajo Indians 
of our own country. Speaking of the men of the 
world before our own, and of the warning they had 
received of the approaching flood, their legends go 
on : " Then they took soil from all the four corner 
mountains of the world, and placed it on top of the 
mountain that stood in the North ; and thither they 
all went, including the people of the mountains, 

1 Liiken, Traditionen, p. 72. 

2 The Chinese Repository, vol. viii., p. 517. 


the salt-woman, and such animals as then lived in 
the third world. When the soil was laid on the 
mountain, the latter began to grow higher and 
higher, but the waters continued to rise, and the 
people climbed upwards to escape the flood. At 
length the mountain ceased to grow, and they 
planted on the summit a great reed, into the hol 
low of which they all entered. The reed grew every 
night, but did not grow in the daytime; and this 
is the reason why the reed grows in joints to this 
day : the hollow internodes show where it grew by 
night, and the solid nodes show where it rested by 
day. Thus the waters gained on them in the day 
time. The turkey was the last to take refuge in the 
reed, and he was therefore at the bottom. When 
the waters rose high enough to wet the turkey, they 
all knew that danger was near. Often did the waves 
wash the end of his tail, and it is for this reason 
that the tips of the turkey s tail-feathers are to this 
day lighter than the rest of his plumage. At the 
end of the fourth night from the time it was planted 
the reed had grown up to the floor of the fourth 
world, and here they found a hole through which 
they passed to the surface." 1 

The opening sentence of the above citation gives 
us a topography exactly corresponding to Mount 
Meru, the Hindu " mountain of the North," with its 
" four corner mountains of the world," in the four 
opposite points of the horizon. Moreover, in the 
Deluge myths of the Hindus, as in this of the Nava- 

1 W. Matthews, " The Navajo Mythology." The Am. Antiquarian, 
July, 1883, p. 208. The difficulty of any interpretation of this cos 
mology other than the true is illustrated by the efforts of M. Reville. 
Les Religions des Peuples Non-civilis6s. Paris, 1883 : vol. i., pp. 271- 


jos, it was over this central mountain that the sur< 
vivors of that world-destruction found deliverance. 
However explained, the coincidences are remark 

In Keltic tradition the Tree of Paradise is repre 
sented by the tree which bore golden apples in 
Avalon. But Avalon is always represented as an 
island in the far North, and its " loadstone castle " 
self-evidently connects it with the region of the mag 
netic Pole. 1 

In the ancient epic of the Finns, the Kalevala, we 
see the World-tree of another people. If any doubt 
could rise as to its position in the universe, the con 
stellation of the Great Bear in its top would suffice 
to remove it. 2 

1 Menzel, Unsterblichkeitslehre, i. 87, 95 ; ii. 10. Keary, Outlines 
of Primitive Belief, p. 453. Especially see Humboldt s references to 
" Monte Calamitico" the mediaeval magnetic mountain in the sea to 
the north of Greenland. Cosmos (Bohn s ed.), ii. 659 ; v. 55. Also, 
Le Cycle mythologique irlandais et la Mythologie celtique. Par H. d Ar- 
bois de Jubainville. Paris, 1884. Dr. Carl Schroeder, Sanct Bran- 
dan. Erlangen, 1871 : pp. 57, in, 167, etc. 

2 The German translation by Anton Schiefner. Helsinfors, 1852 : 
Rune x., 31-42. Compare Schiefner, Heldensagen der minussinischen 
Tataren, p. 62 seq. Traces of the same myth are found among the 
Samoans (Samoa a Hundred Years Ago and Long Before. By George 
Turner, LL. D. London, 1884 : pp. 199, 201). Also, among the 
Ugrian tribes (Peschel, Races of Man, p. 406) ; and among many of 
the tribes of the American aborigines, and in Polynesia. See M. 
Husson, La Chaine Traditionnelle, Contes et Legendes au point de vue 
mythique. Paris, 1874 : especially pp. 140-160. Massey, The Natural 
Genesis. "It was at the top of the Tree of Heaven the Pole 
that the Guaranis were to meet once more with their Adam, Atum, 
Turn, or Tamoi, who was to help them from thence in their ascent to 
the higher life. Here the Tree of Life becomes a tree of the dead to 
raise them into heaven. So in the Algonkin myth the tree of the dead 
was a sort of oscillating log for the deceased to cross the river by, as 
a bridge of the abyss, beyond which the Dog, as in the Persian mythos, 
stands waiting for the souls of the dead, just as the Dog stands at 


Thus the sacred trees, like the sacred waters, of 
every ancient people invariably conduct the inves 
tigator to lands outside the historic habitats of the 
peoples in question, and ever to one and the same 
primeval home-country, the land of light and glory 
at the Arctic Pole. 1 

the Northern Pole of the Egyptian, and is depicted in the tree of the 
Southern Solstice, the Tree of the Pole which was extended to the 
four quarters." Vol. i., p. 404. 

1 Since completing the foregoing chapter I have seen the work en 
titled Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics ; embracing the Myths, Tradi 
tions, Superstitions, and Folk-lore of the Plant Kingdom. By Richard 
Folkard, Jun. London, 1884. In the first three chapters the reader 
will find valuable supplementary reading on " The World-Trees of the 
Ancients," "The Trees of Paradise," "The Tree of Adam," " Sa 
cred Trees of all Nations," etc. Other chapters treat of " Plant Sym 
bolism," " Plant Language," and of the fabulous trees and miracle 
plants which play so important a part in the history of religious and 
scientific credulity. Should any reader thereof be inclined to claim 
that " the progress of science " has forever done away with such igno 
rant mediaeval mystagogy, he will do well to turn to The Weekly Inter- 
Ocean, Chicago, Dec. n, 1884, in which, in an illustrated article enti 
tled " The Tree of Life," we are informed that " science has now dis 
covered in a most unexpected manner both the Tree and the River 
of Life." The former is the brain and spinal cord of man. " We do 
not mean that the brain merely looks like a tree or resembles one ex 
ternally. We are not dealing with analogies. But we do mean that 
the brain and spinal cord are an actual tree. By the most rigid scien 
tific examination it is shown to fill the ideal type and plan of a tree 
more completely than any tree of the vegetable kingdom. The spinal 
cord is the trunk of this great tree. Its roots are the nerves of feel 
ing and motion branching out over the body. . . . The Tree of Life 
is planted in the midst of many others, for the heart is a tree, the 
lungs are a tree, and the pancreas, stomach, liver, and all those vital 
organs. The brain is its radiant and graceful foliage. The mental 
faculties are classified in twelve groups by the most recent scientific 
analysis. This Tree bears twelve kinds of fruit. . . . On each side 
of the Tree of Life is the great River of Life. Let us lay a man 
down with his head to the north, and his arms stretched to the west 
and to the east. The River of Life has its four heads in the four 
chambers of the heart, the two auricles and the two ventricles. The 
branches of this river pass upward to the head, the land of gold, 


eastward to the left and westward to the right arm and lung. But 
greatest of all the branches, The River, or Phrath, are the aorta 
and vena cava, reaching southward to the trunk and lower limbs. In 
branching over the body this river divides into four parts at seven 
teen different points. Two branches of the river form a network 
around the very trunk of the tree, and spread upward among its ex 
panding branches. The blood is the Water of Life, and it looks 
as clear as crystal when seen through the microscope, the eye of 
science. It is three fourths water, and through this are diffused the 
red cells and the living materials which are to construct and to main 
tain the bodily organs." Had this article and its antique-looking illus- 
tration been found in one of the Church fathers, it would have af 
forded to a certain class of " scientists " great edification. 



And the Lord God planted a garden. And out of the ground made the Lord- 
God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The 
Book of Genesis. 

Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island ; and there was 
provision for animals of every kind. Also whatever fragrant things there are 
in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or distilling drops of flowers or 
fruits, grew and thrived in that land. The Critias of Plato. 

Wie verkehrt man ilberhaupt geht, wenn man lediglich aus dem Kreise unsrer 
jetzigen Erfahrung die Urwelt construiren will, haben uns die paldontologischen 
Entdeckutigen der neuern Zeit gelehrt, die eben in der Urwelt uns die riesen- 
haftesten und wunderbarsten Thiergestalten vorfiihren. DR. H. LUKEN. 

ACCORDING to all ancient traditions and beliefs, 
the cradle of the human race was in a portion of the 
world characterized by an altogether extraordinary 
exuberance of life. Of all lands the sun shone upon 
it was the fairest and best. Even down to the Del 
uge, and later, something of the divine goodness of 
that primeval home-land remained. In the eyes of 
Plato, the steady deterioration has been going on 
from the beginning, the good soil washing down 
from the heavenly mountains of the earth s summit 
and disappearing in the abyss, until, " in comparison 
with what then was, there are remaining only the 
bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, 
all the richer and softer parts of the soil having 
fallen away, and the mere skeleton of the land being 
left." J 

1 Critias, III. 


The deterioration of the climate of the mother- 
region of the race is particularly described in the 
first Fargard of the Avesta : " The first of the good 
lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created 
was the Airyana Vaejo [Airan Vej, " Iran the An 
cient "] by the good river Daitya. Thereupon came 
Angra Mainyu [Ahriman], who is all death, and he 
counter-created by his witchcraft the serpent in the 
river, and winter, a work of the daevas. There are 
[now] ten winter months there, two summer months, 
and these are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, 
and cold for the trees." l So in Fargard second we 
have a legendary account of the successive migra 
tions of the earliest remembered men out of the 
original North country " southwards, to meet the 
sun," and nearly all commentators ascribe these 
repeated " southward " movements to the gradual 
refrigeration and glaciation of the primitive home in 
" Iran the Ancient." 2 

The same idea of a perfect primeval climate is 
found among all ancient peoples. Ovid represents 

1 Darmesteter, i., p. 8. Haug, p. 227. It will be observed that 
the winter and summer here described are the exact counterpart or 
"counter-creation" of the original polar day (the growing season) of 
ten months, and the original polar night (or winter of rest from 
growth) of two months. This is another incidental evidence that 
" Iran the Ancient " was situate at the Pole. 

2 " Or 1 avenement de la periode glaciaire pourrait seule expliquer 
un tel fait, car on ne connait aucune autre cause capable de rendre in 
habitable, a cause de froid, une contree qui est represented comme 
ayant etc a 1 origine un pays d excellente nature. On serait done 
obligee d en inferer que les firaniens avestiques avaient conserve, non 
seulement le souvenir de la periode glaciaire, mais aussi celui des 
beaux jours qui 1 ont precedee, et c est ce qu en general on n admittra 
pas facilement. L age d or primitif n est pas un souvenir traditionnel 
des temps preglaciaires," etc. Pietrement, Les Aryas et leur Premiere 
Patrie. Paris, 1879 : p. 15. How near the truth ! 


the spring, in Saturn s reign, to have been peren 
nial. The spring of our world-age is only an ab 
breviated reminder of that great original. 1 So Lac- 
tantius has preserved a fragment of the old ethnic 
creed when he tells us that only upon the loss of 
Paradise, darkness and winter came over the earth. 2 
With this supposed deterioration of soil and cli 
mate the deterioration of man kept pace. Hence 
ancient writers, with hardly an exception, represent 
the men of their own day as far inferior in stature, 
in strength, and in longevity to the first progenitors 
of the race. Hesiod, Aratus, Ovid, Vergil, and Clau- 
dian vary somewhat in their accounts of the Golden, 
Silver, and later ages of human history, but all 
agree in representing the men of their time as weak 
and puny and short-lived, compared with men of the 
early ages of the world. Juvenal, in a well-known 
passage, alludes to Homer s judgment, and expresses 
his own : 

" Nam genus hoc vivo jam decrescebat Homero, 
Terra malos homines mine educat atque pusillos." 8 

Plato, speaking of the antediluvians, says, "For 
many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted 
in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well 
affectioned toward the gods who were their kins 
men ; for they possessed true and in every way great 
spirits, practicing gentleness and wisdom in the 
various chances of life and in their intercourse with 
one another. ... By such reflections, and by the 
continuance in them of the divine nature, all that 

1 Metamorphoses, i. 113. 

2 Placidus, 4. 

8 Satires, xv. 69, 70. Compare Homer, Iliad, v. 302 et seq. ; Ver 
gil, jEneid, xii. 900 ; Lucret., ii. 1151. 


we have described waxed and increased in them ; 
but when this divine portion began to fade away in 
them, and became diluted too often, and with too 
much of the mortal admixture, and the human na 
ture got the upper hand, they, being unable to bear 
their fortune, became unseemly, and to him who had 
an eye to see they began to appear base, and had 
lost the fairest of their precious gifts." 1 

The ancient Indian conception of the world s de 
cadence from period to period is given in the " Laws 
of Manu." 2 Of the four great ages of the life of 
the present universe, we are living in the last and 
worst. In the first yuga all men were holy ; in the 
present all are utterly corrupt and vile. In the first 
they were tall and long-lived ; in each succeeding 
age they have grown dwarfed and feeble. 

Similar to the Indian was the Iranian belief as 
reflected in the Bundahish. Here the duration of 
the universe is represented as filling four world- 
periods of three thousand years each. During the 
first of the four all is pure and sinless, but at its 
close the Evil One declares war against Ahura 
Mazda, the holy God, which war is destined to fill 
the three last ages. During the first of the three, 
the Evil One is unsuccessful; during the second, 
good and evil are exactly balanced ; while in the 
last, which is our own, evil obtains, and till the des 
tined overthrow at the very end maintains su 
premacy. 3 

The conception which we are noticing is as old as 
it is universal. Berosus, reporting the earliest tra- 

1 Critias, 120. 

2 Laws of Manu, I. 68-86. 

8 The Bundahish) chapters i., xxxi., xxxiv. 


ditions of Chaldaea, represents the first men as of 
extraordinary stature and strength, and as retaining 
in lessening degree these characteristics until some 
generations after the Flood. 1 " Among the Egyp 
tians," says Lenormant, " the terrestrial reign of the 
god Ra, who inaugurated the existence of the world 
and of human life, was a Golden Age, to which they 
continually looked back with regret and envy : to 
assert the superiority of anything above all that im 
agination could set forth, it was sufficient to affirm 
that * its like had never been seen since the days of 
the god Ra. The same idea is found again in the 
Egyptian account of the succession of the terres 
trial reigns of the gods, the demi-gods, heroes, and 
men, as collected from the fragments of Manetho, 
and corroborated by the testimony of native texts." 2 
In China, too, the catholic ethnic faith in a primeval 
Golden Age was not lacking, so that everywhere 
the eldest traditions be they Shemitic, Aryan, or 
Turanian support, confirm, and illustrate the rep 
resentations of the Bible touching the extraordinary 
pristine vitality of Edenic nature and of antedilu 
vian man. So overwhelming is the evidence that 
this universal belief of antiquity is a reminiscence of 
primitive reality, that one who expressly disclaims a 
personal belief in the superior stature of the early 
men nevertheless asserts that " the universality of 
the popular belief attests its very ancient origin," 
and adds that "it may unhesitatingly be ranked 
among those originating at a time when the great 
civilized peoples of a remote antiquity, still cluster- 

1 Fragments Cosmogoniques de B erase. Ed. Lenormant. Frag. 17. 

2 Beginnings of History, pp. 67, 73, note. See the entire chapter 
and the authorities there quoted. Also chapters vi. and vii., particu 
larly pp. 35 i 


ing about the cradle of the race, enjoyed a contact 
sufficiently close for some common traditions." 1 

The bearing of this unanimous verdict of ancient 
tradition upon the problem of the location of Eden 
is obvious. The traditions of the whole ethnic 
world, not less than the record in Genesis, require 
that the cradle of the race be placed in the one spot 
on earth where the biological conditions are the 
most favorable possible. According to all procur 
able data, that spot at the era of man s appearance 
upon the stage was in the now lost " Miocene conti 
nent," which then surrounded the Arctic Pole. That 
in that true, original Eden some of the early gener 
ations of men attained to a stature and longevity 
unequaled in any countries known to postdiluvian 
history is by no means scientifically incredible. On 
the contrary, the exceptional biological conditions 
of that land and the remarkable consensus of all 
tradition respecting the vigor of early giant races 
combine to form a fresh illustration of the principle 
that the more incredible things an hypothesis ex 
plains, the more irresistibly credible the hypothesis 
itself becomes. 

1 Lenormant, Beginnings of History, p. 354. The author con 
tinues, " To-day we have scientific proof that such belief [in the ex 
traordinary stature of the early men] has no real foundation, but is 
simply a product of the imagination." But his alleged scientific 
proof is purely negative, consisting of the fact that the human skele 
tons which paleontologists have so far found none of which are from 
the high North are only of ordinary size. " As far back as we can 
trace the vestiges of mankind, up to the races who lived in the Qua 
ternary period side by side with the great mammifers of extinct spe 
cies, it may be proved that the medium height of our species has 
never exceeded its existent limits." If other early species of mam 
mifers were gigantic in comparison with their nearest living repre 
sentatives of to-day, why may not the mammifer man have illustrated 
the same law ? 


Back in that far-off foretime, even in the lower 
latitudes, life was remarkably luxuriant. The pale 
ontologists almost exhaust the resources of language 
in the effort to describe it. Thus, on a single page, 
Professor Alleyne Nicholson, of St. Andrew s Uni 
versity, says : " The life of the Miocene period is 
extremely abundant, also extremely varied in its char 
acter. . . . The marine beds have yielded numerous 
remains of both vertebrate and invertebrate sea-ani 
mals, . . . an enormous number of plants. . . . The 
remains of air-breathing animals are also abundantly 
found. . . . The plants of the Miocene period are 
extraordinarily numerous. . . . The plant - remains 
. . . indicate an extraordinarily rank and luxuriant 
vegetation," etc. 1 Figuier gives the following illus 
tration : "The Lycopods of our age are humble 
plants, scarcely a yard in height and most commonly 
creepers ; but those of the ancient world were trees 
of eighty or ninety feet in height." 2 But we have 
before seen that the mother - region of all these 
abounding and varied floral and faunal types was 
within the Arctic Circle, and from their amazing ex 
uberance in low latitudes we may form some concep 
tion of the yet superior potencies of life which were 
at work in that more highly favored circumpolar 
seed-plot of the whole earth. 

In our last chapter it was suggested that the Tree 
in the midst of Paradise may have been as lofty as 
one of the giant Sequoias of California. The com 
parison was not made at random. In the Miocene 
remains in Britain, conifers are especially numerous. 
And " the most abundant of these is a gigantic pine, 

1 Ancient Life-History of the Earth. New York ed., 1878 : p. 308. 

2 The World before the Deluge, p. 134. 


the Sequoia Couttsicz, which is very nearly allied to 
the huge Sequoia gigantea of California. A nearly 
allied form, Sequoia Langsdorfii, has been detected 
in the Hebrides." 1 From the latitude of the Se 
quoia grove in Mariposa County, California, to that 
of the Hebrides is a long stride toward the Pole ; 
but we are not left to mere inference when we raise 
the question whether the original starting-point of 
this gigantic tree-species may not have been still 
higher in the Arctic regions. The Miocene fossils 
of the highest attainable Arctic latitudes tell their 
own story. Limited as have been the explorations 
among these fossils, as Sir Charles Lyell remarks, 
" more than thirty species of Coniferae have been 
found, including several Sequoias allied to the gigan 
tic Wellingtonia of California. . . . There are also 
beeches, oaks, planes, poplars, walnuts, limes, and 
even a magnolia, two cones of which have lately 
been obtained, proving that this splendid evergreen 
not only lived, but ripened its fruit, within the Arc 
tic Circle. Many of the limes, planes, and oaks 
were large-leaved species, and both flowers and 
fruits, besides immense quantities of leaves, are in 
many cases preserved. . . . Even in Spitzbergen, 
within 12 of the Pole, no less than ninety-five spe 
cies of fossil plants have been obtained." The vigor 
of the vegetable life of the Miocene age in these 
Arctic regions impresses the veteran geologist as 
" truly remarkable." 

We have a right, then, not only to draw a conclu 
sion from the "abundant" and " extraordinarily rank 
and luxuriant vegetation" of the Arctic regions in 
Miocene time, but also to learn a special lesson from 

1 Nicholson, Life-History, p. 309. 


the gigantic forms which linger on our Western 
coast. Had the book of Genesis described one of 
the trees of Eden as three hundred and twenty feet 
in height and thirty feet in diameter at the base, not 
only all the Voltaires of modern history, but also 
until the discovery of California all naturalists of 
the advanced anti-Christian variety, would have made 
no end of sport over the unscientific or mythical 
" Botany of Moses." But the Sequoia gigantea is a 
living, indisputable fact. Though not the oldest of 
the Coniferae, it illustrates some of the earlier possi 
bilities of vegetable life. It tells the botanist that 
growths once realized in great abundance are dying 
out, and unless perpetuated by human care are soon 
to disappear from our globe forever. Its last surviv 
ing representatives in the state of nature, preserved 
to our day by certain fortunate local conditions and 
by their own inherent longevity, are witnesses re 
specting a far-off world, witnesses whose testimony 
the most incredulous must accept. They tell of the 
far-away dawn of the day of man, they bear testimony 
to the extraordinary life which characterized their 
distant birth-land. 1 And if these last individuals of 
an expiring race can maintain, under unfavorable 
biological conditions, a vigorous life through two mil 
lenniums of time, who shall declare it impossible that 

1 During the Tertiary period the Sequoias "occurred all around 
the Arctic zone " (Asa Gray). Professor J. D. Whitney finds evidence 
that one of the fallen trees in Placer County was over 2000 years of 
age. See his Yosemite Book ; also Engler, Entwickelungsgeschichte 
der Pflanzenwelt. Leipsic, 1879-82 : chap. i. and ii. It is also note 
worthy that the Australian Eucalyptus gigantea, the only tree which 
surpasses the Sequoia in height, is found precisely in that country 
whose belated living flora and fauna are more closely related to the 
northern types of the early world than are any other. 


the men of the time and place of the origination of 
the Sequoia gigantea should have averaged more 
than six feet in stature, or attained to an age quite 
surpassing our threescore years and ten ? As to the 
latter point, it would require more than the com 
bined lives of two Methuselahs to watch the growth 
and death of a single tree like those of California. 
The thought is not the incubation of the present 
writer ; it is what the trees themselves said to the 
foremost botanist of America. 1 

But the exuberance of animal life in the Miocene 
period is not less remarkable. We quote the same 
author as before : " The Invertebrate animals of 
this period are very numerous. ... The little shells 
of the Foraminifera are extremely abundant. . . . 
Corals are very abundant, in many instances forming 
regular reefs. . . . Numerous crabs and lobsters 
represent the Crustacea. . . . Of Insects more than 
thirteen hundred species have been determined by Dr. 
Heer from the Miocene strata of Switzerland alone. 
. . . The Mollusca are very numerous. . . . Polyzoans 

1 " We cannot gaze high up the huge and venerable trunks, which 
one crosses the continent to behold, without wishing that these patri 
archs of the grove were able, like the long-lived antediluvians of 
Scripture, to hand down to us through a few generations the tradi 
tions of centuries, and so tell us somewhat of the history of their 
race. Fifteen hundred annual layers have been counted or satisfac 
torily made out upon one or two fallen trunks. It is probable that 
close to the heart of some of the living trees may be found the circle 
that records the year of the Saviour s nativity. A few generations of 
such trees might carry the history a long way back. But the ground 
they stand on and the marks of very recent geologic change and vi 
cissitude in the region around testify that not very many such gener 
ations can have flourished just here, at least in unbroken series." 
Professor Asa Gray, LL. D., " The Sequoia and its History." Pro 
ceedings of the American Association for ike Advancement of Science, 
1872, p. 6. 


are abundant. Bivalves and Univalves are extremely 
plentiful. . . . The Fishes of the period are very 
abundant. . . . The remains of Reptiles are far 
from uncommon. . . . The Land-tortoises make their 
first appearance during this period. The most re 
markable form of this group is the huge Colossochelys 
Atlas of the Upper Miocene deposits of the Siwalik 
Hills in India, described by Dr. Falconer and Sir 
Proby Cautley. Far exceeding any living tortoise in 
its dimensions, this enormous animal is estimated as 
having had a length of about twenty feet, measured 
from the tip of the snout to the extremity of the tail, 
and to have stood upwards of seven feet. . . . The 
accomplished paleontologists just quoted show fur 
ther that some of the traditions of the Hindus would 
render it not improbable that this colossal Tortoise 
survived into the earlier portion of the human pe 
riod. . . . The Mammals of the Miocene are very 
numerous. . . . The Edentates (Sloths, etc.) are rep 
resented by two large European forms. One of 
these is the large Macrotheritim giganteum. . . . The 
other is the still more gigantic Ancylotherium Pen- 
telici, which seems to have been as large as, or larger 
than, the rhinoceros. . . . We may also note here the 
first appearance of true whalebone Whales, two spe 
cies of which, resembling the living Right Whale 
of the Arctic seas, and belonging to the same genus, 
have been detected in the Miocene beds of North 
America. . . . The great order of the Ungulates, 
or hoofed quadrupeds, is very largely developed in 
strata of the Miocene age, various new types mak 
ing their appearance here for the first time. . . . We 
meet for the first time with representatives of the 
family Rhinocerida, comprising the only existing rhi- 


noceroses. . . . The family of the Tapirs is repre 
sented, . . . some of which were quite diminutive in 
point of size, whilst others attained the dimensions 
of a horse. Nearly allied to this family, also, is the 
singular group of quadrupeds which Marsh had de 
scribed under the name of Brontotheridce. These 
extraordinary animals, typified by Brontotherium 
itself, agree with . . . and differ from the existing Ta 
pirs. . . . Brontotherium gigas is said to be nearly 
as large as an elephant, whilst Brontotherium ingens 
appears to have attained dimensions still more gigan 
tic. The well-known genus Titanotherium would 
also appear to belong to this group. . . . The family 
of the Horses appears under various forms in the 
Miocene, but the most important and best known of 
these is the Hipparion. . . . Remains of the Hippa- 
rion have been found in various regions in Europe 
and in India ; and from the immense quantities of 
their bones found in certain localities, it may be safely 
inferred that these Middle Tertiary ancestors of the 
Horse lived, like their modern representatives, in 
great herds. . . . Amongst the even-toed Ungulates 
we for the first time meet with examples of the Hip 
popotamus, with its four-toed feet, its massive body, 
and huge tusk-like lower teeth. . . . The true Deer, 
with their solid bony antlers, appear for the first time 
here. . . . Perhaps the most remarkable of these 
Miocene Ruminants is the Sivatherium gigantetim 
of the Siwalik Hills in India. In this extraordinary 
animal there were two pairs of horns. ... If all 
these horns had been simple, there would have been 
no difficulty in considering Sivatherium as simply a 
gigantic four-horned Antelope. ... It is to the Mio 
cene period that we must refer the first appearance 


of the important order of the Elephants and their 
allies (Proboscidians). . . . Only three generic groups 
of this order are known, namely, the extinct Dei- 
notherium, the equally extinct Mastodons, and the 
Elephants ; and all these three types are known 
to have been in existence as early as the Miocene 
period, the first of them being exclusively con 
fined to deposits of this age. . . . The most cel 
ebrated skull of the Deinothere is the one which 
was exhumed from the Upper Miocene deposits of 
Epplesheim, in Hesse-Darmstadt, in the year 1836. 
This skull was four and a half feet in length, and 
indicated an animal larger than any existing species 
of the Elephant. . . . Whilst herbivorous quadrupeds, 
as we have seen, were extremely abundant during 
Miocene times, and often attained gigantic dimen 
sions, beasts of prey (Carnivora) were by no means 
wanting ; most of the existing families of the order 
being represented. . . . Weasels and Otters were 
not unknown, . . . whilst the great Cats of subse 
quent periods are more than adequately represented 
by the huge sabre-toothed Tiger. . . . Amongst 
the Rodent Mammals . . . all the principal living 
groups were differentiated in Middle Tertiary times. 
. . . Lastly, the Monkeys existed during the Mio 
cene period under a variety of forms. . . . The 
Dryopithecus is referable to the group of Anthro 
poid Apes/ . . . Dryopithecus was also of large size, 
equaling Man in stature, and apparently living 
amongst the trees and feeding upon fruits." 1 

It would be easy to heighten the impression of 
this vigor and luxuriance of animal life in Tertiary 
and Post-tertiary times by studying the huge bird- 

1 Nicholson, Life-History, pp. 311 et seq. 


tracks of the Connecticut sandstone, or the enor 
mous skeletons of the Dinornis giganteus and the 
Dinornis elephantopus, or the eggs of the ^Epiornis 
maximus, eggs " measuring from thirteen to four 
teen inches in diameter." * We might consider the 
Diprotodon, which " in size must "have many times 
exceeded the dimensions of the largest of its living 
successors, since the skull measures no less than 
three feet in length." 2 Or we might rehabilitate 
the " colossal " Megatherium Cuvieri, whose " thigh 
bone is nearly thrice the thickness of the same bone 
in the largest of existing Elephants." 3 Or, again, 
visiting the Jurassic beds of our own Colorado, we 
might contemplate the Titanosaurus, one of the 
latest discovered of the tenants of the early world, 
of which Sir John Lubbock says that it " is perhaps 
the largest land animal yet known, being a hundred 
feet in lengthy and at least thirty feet in height, 

1 The fact that fossil remains of these gigantic extinct birds have 
been found only in the Southern hemisphere militates in no wise 
against the doctrine that the species originated in the highest North. 
For (i) birds are the best equipped of all creatures for migration to 
the remotest parts of the earth. (2.) The Connecticut Valley sand 
stones, in the Northern hemisphere, preserve the tracks of birds 
"which must have been of colossal dimensions," the tracks being 22 
inches in length and 12 in breadth, with a proportionate length of 
stride. " These measurements indicate a foot four times as large as 
that of the African Ostrich." (3.) These tracks were made in the 
Triassic period, while the remains found in New Zealand and adjacent 
regions belong to the much more recent Post-pliocene period, thus 
giving a long lapse of years for the spread or migration of the species 
from the latitude of the Connecticut Valley to that of the most South 
ern lands. Compare Geikie : " The higher fauna of Australia is more 
nearly akin to that which flourished in Europe far back in Meso- 
zoic time than to the living fauna of any other region of the globe." 
Geology, p. 619. 

2 Nicholson, Life- History, p. 349. 
8 Ibid., p. 350. 


though it seems possible that even these vast di 
mensions may have been surpassed by those of the 
Atlantosaurus" 1 also a late discovery. But why 
multiply illustrations ? Natural history in our times 
can produce no species of fishes, or of amphibians, 
or of reptiles, or of birds, or among mammals 
of marsupials, or of edentates, or of ungulates, or 
of proboscidians, or of carnivores, or of apes, which 
in normal dimensions are not excelled by species of 
the corresponding orders and classes belonging to 
Tertiary and Quaternary ages. And this being so, 
it is surely possible and credible that in the same 
antediluvian ages some of the varieties of the spe 
cies Bimana may have exceeded in stature its pres 
ent average, and enjoyed a corresponding vigor of 
constitution. At any rate, it will be soon enough 
to deny it after human remains of suitable age shall 
have been found in the vicinity of the race s origin 
and earlier history. So far as past findings are con 
cerned, even Biichner, who holds that "primitive 
man was inferior even in corporeal attributes to the 
men of the present day," and that " the widely spread 
belief in the former existence of a race of human 
giants is perfectly erroneous," still has to say, " It 
is true that some very ancient skeletons or parts of 
skeletons have been found, which must have be 
longed to comparatively large and very muscular 
men, such, for example, as the skeleton of the famous 
Neanderthal man, and the human bones recently 
found by M. Louis Lartet in one of the caverns of 
Perigord, . . . which seem to indicate a rude but 
muscular race of men." 2 Again, speaking of the 

1 Nature. London, 1881 : p. 406. 

2 Man in the Past, Present, and Future. Eng. tr. by Dallas, pp. 


skeleton to which the Neanderthal skull belongs, he 
says, " The ridges and crests especially which served 
as points for insertion of the muscles are very 
strongly developed, so that we may conclude that 
their possessor was a very strong and muscular 
man! J It may be added that Carl Vogt, one of the 
earliest and most influential of Darwin s German 
disciples, also conceived of " the man of the oldest 
Stone Age " as "of large stature, powerful and long 
headed! * 

Here it may be well to remark that the primitive 
forms of animals, while often so excelling in size 
the later forms of their own kind, are by no means 
to be thought of as monstrosities. The proportion 
of a young child s head to his body is very different 
from that of an adult s. In comparison with the 
grown man, his limbs and hands and feet are re 
markably plump and well rounded. Had a painter 
never seen and studied a human being except in the 
adult and senescent stage, the infant form would 
seem to him singularly abnormal. This illustration 
may help to a right judgment of certain early types 
of animals. For "if we take the earliest known 
and oldest examples of any given group of animals, 
it can sometimes be shown that these primitive 
forms, though in themselves highly organized, pos 
sessed certain characters such as are now only seen 
in the young of their existing representatives. In 
technical language, the early forms of life in some 
instances possess embryonic characters, though 
this does not prevent them often attaining a size 
much more gigantic than their nearest living rela 

1 Man in the Past, Present, and Future, p. 53. 

2 Ibid., pp. 60, 259. 


tives. Moreover, the ancient forms of life are often 
what is called comprehensive types ; that is to say, 
they possess characters in combination such as we 
nowadays only find separately developed in different 
groups of animals. Now this permanent retention 
of embryonic characters and this comprehensive 
ness of structural type are signs of what a zoolo 
gist considers to be a comparatively low grade of 
organization ; and the prevalence of these features 
in the earlier forms of animals is a very striking 
phenomenon, though they are none the less perfectly 
organized so far as their own type is concerned 1 
To put the mistake to be guarded against in another 
light, it may be said that whoever considers the de 
partures of the most ancient forms of animal life 
from the allied living forms as abnormal and mon 
strous in many cases simply takes the types of de 
cadence and senility by which to test and condemn 
the plumper and fuller and fairer types of physical 
juvenility. In like manner, the " comprehensive " 
types can be called monstrous and strange only 
as these terms might be applied to the " London 
Times " by a man who in all his life had never seen 
any other specimen of journalism than " The North 
British Wool-Growers Monthly Bulletin," or " The 
Daily Price-Current of the Southampton Associated 
Grocers." What the zoologist calls the "lowest" 
forms of organization are rather the highest, if by 
"highest " we mean those forms which are most in- 


elusive, lebenskrdftig, and susceptible of evolutionary 
differentiation. 2 The notion that the faunal world at 

1 Nicholson, Life-History, pp. 60, 61. Compare pp. 367-374. 

2 " The first appearance of leading types of life are rarely embry 
onic. On the contrary, they often appear in highly perfect and spe 
cialized forms ; often, however, of composite type, and expressing 


the time of the advent of man was a world of crudi 
ties and monstrosities a notion to which books 
and magazines of popularized science have given an 
almost universal currency is therefore entirely 
false. 1 In the light of profounder science, the fair 
est Eden of the oldest legend is, so far as primeval 
zoology is concerned, more credible than when the 
study of Paleontology was first begun. 

It must not be forgotten that in all that has now 
been hinted respecting the fauna of the early world 
no account has been taken of more favorable and 
less favorable portions of the earth. Paleontologists 
are but just beginning to consider that between the 
biological conditions of the Arctic regions and those 
of every other portion of the globe there must have 
been, in Pre-Glacial times, the profoundest and most 
far-reaching difference. The growths of a region 
whose day was ten months in length, and whose 
night was but two, could not fail to be vastly differ- 

characters afterwards so separated as to belong to higher groups. . . . 
The bald and contemptuous negation of these facts by Haeckel and 
other biologists does not tend to give geologists much confidence in 
their dicta." Principal J. W. Dawson, in his " Presidential Address 
before the American Association for the Advancement of Science." 
Science, Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 17, 1883 : p. 195. 

1 " Dr. Hooker observes, in his recent introductory essay on the 
Flora of Australia, that it is impossible to establish a parallel between 
the successive appearances of vegetable forms in time and their com 
plexity of structure or specialization of organs as represented by the 
successively higher groups in the natural method of classification. 
He also adds that the earliest recognizable cryptograms are not only 
the highest now existing, but have more highly differentiated vegeta 
tive organs than any subsequently appearing, and that the dicotyledo 
nous embryo and perfect exogenous wood, with the highest special 
ized tissue known (the coniferous with glandular tissue), preceded 
the monocotyledonous embryo and endogenous wood in date of ap 
pearance on the globe, facts wholly opposed to the doctrine of pro 
gression." Sir Charles Lyell, The Antiquity of Man, p. 404. 


ent from those of the regions where, on the average, 
almost twelve hours of every twenty-four are spent 
in darkness. " Nor can we overlook the fact that 
the plants and shells of the Arctic region are emi 
nently variable." l If, therefore, in low latitudes the 
forms and powers of animal life were what we have 
seen, who can undertake to depict its superior exu 
berance and variety of manifestation in that primitive 
polar focus from which all faunal types proceeded ! 2 
The Arctic rocks tell of a more wonderful lost 
Atlantis than Plato s. The fossil ivory beds of Si 
beria excel everything of the kind in the world. 
From the days of Pliny, at least, they have con 
stantly been undergoing exploitation, and still they 
are the chief headquarters of supply. 3 The remains 

1 Charles Darwin, Animals and Plants tinder Domestication. New 
York, 1868 : ii. 309. 

2 This " eminent " variableness of Arctic life has its bearing upon 
the scientific credibility of prehistoric Arctic giants. At the present 
day, and in our own latitudes, men occasionally appear whose stature 
is four or five times the height of the smallest adult dwarfs. Accord 
ingly, if we were to assume two and one half feet as the minimum 
adult stature in polar regions in primeval times, the still prevailing 
range of variation would give us in those times some men from seven 
and one half to twelve and one half feet in height. Possibly new fos 
sil evidence on this point is soon to be afforded us. The following is 
going the rounds of the daily press : " A Carson (Nev.) dispatch says, 
The footprints which were so much discussed in this country and 
Europe, and which were originally pronounced by Dr. Harkness, of 
the Academy of Sciences, to be those of mammoths, are now stated 
by him, after a year s examination, to be only those of big-footed 
men." See Proceedings of the California Academy of Science, 1882 
(Aug. 7 and 27, Sept. 4, Oct. 2). Nadaillac, in Materiaux pour rHis- 
toire primitive et naturellc de V Homme. Paris, 1882: pp. 313-321. 
Topinard, in Revue d Anthropologie. Paris, 1883 : pp. 309-320. Also 
Mr. Cope, in The American Naturalist, Philadelphia, 1883. 

8 Von Middendorff (Reise im Norden und Ostcn Siberiens, 1848) 
reckons the number of the tusks which now annually come into the 
market as at least a hundred pairs, on which Nordenskjold remarks : 


of the mammoth are so abundant that, as Gratacap 
says, " the northern islands of Siberia seem built 
up of its crowded bones" * Another scientific writer, 
speaking of the islands of New Siberia, northward 
of the mouth of the river Lena, uses this language : 
" Large quantities of ivory are dug out of the ground 
every year. Indeed, some of the islands are believed 
to be nothing but an accumulation of drift-timber and 
the bodies of mammoths and other antediluvian ani 
mals frozen together? 2 So full of these remains is 
the soil of these high Arctic regions that the Ost- 
yaks and other ignorant tribes have an idea that the 
mammoth is an underground animal ploughing his 
way through the earth like a mole, and that he still 
lives in his subterranean passages. Nor would there 
seem to be anything so remarkably novel in the 
theory we have advocated in this book, according 
to which the submergence of the primeval home of 
mankind and the introduction of the great Ice Age 
are connected with the Deluge : for when, nearly 
two hundred years ago, the Russian ambassador, 
Evert Yssbrants Ides, made his bold, three -year 
overland journey to China, he in the high North 
found and reported this precise traditionary belief. 3 

" From this we may infer that during the years that have elapsed 
since the Russian conquest of Siberia, useful tusks from more than 
20,000 mammoths have been collected." In a note the same writer 
expresses the opinion that Von Middendorff s estimate is quite too low, 
and says that a single steamer on which he sailed up the Yenisej in 
1875 was on th at single trip taking more than one hundred tusks to 
market. The Voyage of the Vega, p. 305. 

1 " Prehistoric Man in Europe." The Am. Antiquarian and Oriental 
"Journal. Chicago, 1881 : p. 284. 

2 Johnsoris Cyclopadia, sub voce. 

3 " The old Russians living in Siberia were of opinion that the mam 
moth was an animal of the same kind as the elephant, and that before 
the Flood Siberia had been warmer than now, and elephants had then 


Summing up the present chapter, then, we have 
only to say that whoever accepts the conclusion to 
which the preceding lines of argument have con 
ducted us will find no longer a stumbling-block in 
the latest revelations of Geology touching the ex 
traordinary life-energies of far-off ages, and in the 
hoary myths which tell of giants and Titans and 
demigods in Earth s early morning. On the con 
trary, fossil form and ethnic myth and sacred page 
will all be found uniting in a common story. 

lived in numbers there ; that they had been drowned in the Flood, 
and afterwards, when the climate became colder, had frozen in the 
river mud." Nordenskjb ld, Voyage of the Vega> p. 305. 



Now if Water be the Best, and Gold be the most precious , so now to the farthest 
bound doth Theron by his fair deeds attain, and front his own home touch the 
Pillars of Heracles - 1 Pathless the things beyond, pathless alike to the unwise and 
the wise. Here will I search no more ; the quest were vain. PINDAR (MYERS). 

IN Part Second, at the very beginning of our dis 
cussion, attention was called to the two classes of 
tests which the hypothesis of an Arctic polar site 
for Eden must of necessity meet : first, the tests 
which would apply alike to all the ordinarily pro 
posed sites in temperate and inter-tropical latitudes ; 
and second, the tests which would be inseparable 
from the aspects and adjustments of Nature at the 
Pole. In the first class seven were enumerated, and 
at the close of Part Fourth we saw how surpris 
ingly and convincingly all of the seven had been 
met. In the second class seven others were par 
ticularized as " new features " introduced into the 
problem of the site of Eden by the very nature of 
our hypothesis. They were all of so peculiar and 
extraordinary a character, and they so modified the 
requirements to be made of all corroborative hu 
man tradition, that nothing short of the truth of the 
intrinsically improbable hypothesis could save it 

1 " Atlas gave to Heracles the /c&r/uou niovas which contained all the 
secrets of Nature." Rawlinson s Herodotus, vol. i., p. 505 n. Com 
pare below, Part VI., ch. ii. Also Jonnes, UOcean, pp. 121, 107, et 


from obvious and ridiculous failure at each succes 
sive point. In the present Part we have now brought 
together the facts, or at least a portion of the facts, 
which go to demonstrate that the hypothesis of a 
Polar Paradise, and no other, can meet and satisfy 
each one of these new and more difficult require 
ments. Speaking after the manner of the mathe 
maticians, though of course with due remembrance 
of the nature of the reasoning employed, it may be 
said that we have first solved our problem, and then, 
by a new process and with changed elements, proved 
and verified our answer. Whoever would see how 
strikingly complete and cogent this verifying pro 
cess is should turn back to the second chapter of 
Part Second and carefully collate the seven "new 
features " there enumerated with the facts of the 
first seven chapters of the present Part. The result 
of such a collation upon any candid mind can hardly 
be doubtful. 

In the writer s firm-grounded conviction, then, 
LOST EDEN is FOUND. To no one of his readers 
can its true site be more surprising than it was at 
first to him. Every antecedent probability seemed 
in array against it. First of all, in such problems 
every new hypothesis is inherently unlikely in di 
rect proportion to the number of hypotheses pre 
viously propounded and found wanting. Where 
had more been advanced by the learned and ingen 
ious than here ? Again, from its nature the hy 
pothesis greatly aggravated the conditions and re 
quirements of the problem itself. And if, during 
centuries of discussion, no sublunary site had been 
found which could meet the simple conditions of 
Genesis, how unlikely that with new and far more 


extraordinary conditions added a place could be 
found corresponding ! Again, in order to its verifi 
cation, the hypothesis required that a wholly new in 
terpretation of mankind s oldest cosmological ideas 
and traditions should be propounded and verified, 
an interpretation unanimously forbidden by the con 
sensus of modern scholarship in almost every de 
partment of historical and archaeological research. 
How supremely unlikely that any such undertaking 
could be crowned with success ! 

Happily, human events do not fall out according 
to our short-sighted human likelihoods. Even the 
thoughtless man sees it, and exclaims, " It is always 
the impossible that happens ! " The more reverent 
soul, who discerns in all history a higher than hu 
man agency, and in whose eyes Nature itself is 
supernatural, must least of all be daunted by the 
unpromising first appearances of any clue to truth. 
His conceptions of the actual are larger than those 
of mere believers in nature, and thereto are ad 
justed his conceptions of the probable. Identifying 
himself with that personal Power which everywhere 
makes for truth no less than for righteousness, he 
is ever expecting the otherwise unexpectable, and for 
the same reason ever looking upon each new truth 
attained, not as a personal achievement, but simply 
as one more proof and precious pledge of pupilhood. 

In the progress of the studies here summed up 
many curious things have come to light, one of 
which may appropriately be mentioned in this place. 
Archaeologists are well aware that more than one 
hundred years ago, in his " Lettres sur 1 Atlantide 
de Platon," 1779, and "Lettres sur 1 Origine des 
Sciences," 1777, the learned and ingenious Jean 


Sylvain Bailly advocated the view that the primi 
tive cradle of civilization was in Siberia, under the 
49th or 5oth degree of latitude. In the latter of the 
works named there occurs a noteworthy passage in 
which the author, rhetorically fixing the birthplace 
of mankind at the very Pole, remarks upon the "sin 
gular conformity " of such a starting-point, both 
with all the phenomena of civilization and with the 
indications of mythology. In the same breath, how 
ever, as if startled by his own temerity, he reas 
sures his readers by announcing that his suggestion 
is " only a philosophic fiction," and that it " lacks 
the support of history." l Is it too much to say that 
the support of history has now been furnished ? 2 

Though our hypothesis needs no further confir 
mation, it would be perfectly easy to develop a new 
and striking line of evidence from the light which 
it throws on the origin of the erroneous precon 
ceptions which in the past have either perpetually 
suggested false theories, or else occasioned the con 
viction that the problem was insoluble. Thus, after 
what we have learned as to the posture of wor 
shipers in all ancient nations, it is easy to under- 

1 " Au reste, si j ai trace la marche de 1 homme ne sous le pole, 
s avan9ant vers 1 equateur, inventant toutes les differentes mesures 
de 1 annee, par les circonstances physiques des differentes latitudes, 
ce n est qu une fiction philosophique, singuliere par sa conformite 
avec les phenomenes, remarquable par 1 explication des fables ; fic 
tion qui surtout n a rien d absurde en elle-meme, et a laquelle il ne 
manque que d etre appuyee par 1 histoire : " pp. 255, 256. 

2 Since the announcement of his results the writer has received 
letters from three plain, unschooled Bible-students, who appear to 
have anticipated, each in his own way, the conclusions of this book. 
One of them, Mr. Alexander Skelton, a machinist and blacksmith, of 
Paterson, N. J., obtained a hearing, it seems, in the New York Trib 
une, in 1878, and his argument, though brief, is remarkably compre 
hensive and cogent. 


stand that the primitive Garden " in the Front- 
country " must have been in the North. But since 
in the Post-Glacial ages this Front-country was 
naturally associated with the East, and all investi 
gators, Jewish, Christian, and Mohammedan, were 
trying to find some Oriental region of Paradisaic cli 
mate, with a central Tree and a quadrifurcate River 
by which the primitive Gan-Eden might be identi 
fied, we have in this preliminary misconception rea 
son enough for their failure age after age. 

Again, in reviewing the results of the theologians, 
we saw that not a few of the more modern had, like 
Luther, been repelled and disgusted by the appar 
ently senseless and contradictory representations of 
the earlier fathers and church-teachers, in some of 
which Paradise was placed in heaven, and yet appar 
ently on earth, and anon perhaps midway between 
heaven and earth ; as high, in fact, as the moon. 
In view of such representations we cannot be sur 
prised that a keen-witted satirist like Samuel Butler, 
in enumerating the rare accomplishments of Hudi- 
bras, should have said, 

" He knew the seat of Paradise, 
Could tell in what degree it lies ; 
And, as he was disposed, could prove it 
Below the moon, or else above it." 

Our study of the prehistoric Paradise-mountain, 
standing upon the earth at the Arctic Pole and lift 
ing its head " to the orbit of the moon," brings in 
stant light into all this confusion. The mountain is 
at once in heaven and on earth. And it is interest 
ing to note that late mediaeval theologians, despite 
their meagre opportunities for historical research, 
traced this conception to just that apostle who, ao 


cording to ecclesiastical tradition, as special " Apos 
tle of India," had best opportunity to learn of the 
East-Aryan Meru, and to report this peculiar and 
venerable tradition of Paradise. 1 Moreover, as we 
have seen, there were in several Asiatic religions 
two Paradises, a celestial and a terrestrial, con 
nected by a pillar, or bridge, up and down which 
holy souls could pass. When, therefore, an ancient 
writer is found alluding in one place to Paradise as 
on earth and in another to Paradise as in heaven, 
the confusion is not in his own mind, but merely in 
that of his reader. 

Here, too, a good word can be put in for poor 
Cosmas Indicopleustes, the man who has had the 
honor of being more ignorantly and contemptuously 
abused by modern scientists than any other cos- 
mographer of early Christian ages. Doubtless it is 
easy to ridicule his rude representation of the uni 
verse, but who will assure us that, thirteen or four 
teen centuries hence, it may not be equally easy to 
ridicule the speculations of Herschel as to the form 
of the Cosmic Whole ? However this may be, the 
foregoing chapters have given a new significance to 
the thought of the monk " who sailed to India," 
showing us that his " Mountain " to the North of 
the known countries of his day was none other than 
Mount Meru, the legendary heaven-supporting cul 
mination of the Northern hemisphere. His loca 
tion of Eden, so far as the verdict of science is 
yet rendered, is at least as well supported as Hackel s 

1 " I have found it in some most ancient books that Thomas, the 
Apostle, was the author of the opinion . . . that Paradise was so high 
as to reach to the lunar circle." Albertus Magnus, Summa Theologies, 
Pars II., Tract, xiii., qu. 79. 


in lost "Lemuria," or Unger s in a mid-Atlantic 
"Atlantis." Most remarkable of all, just NORTH 
of the Arctic Ocean boundary of Europe not in the 
West, as sometimes falsely represented : he lo 
cates "the land where men dwelt before the Flood"* 
If our conclusions are correct, Cosmas was the ear 
liest known geographer who gave to the Christian 
world a true account of the original seat of the post- 
Edenic antediluvian world. Thus those who have 
so long made him their pet illustration of the igno 
rance and unscientific spirit of " Christian " teach 
ing may yet see occasion to revise their judgment, 
and to transform a portion of their ridicule into 

The same principles which explain the strange 
world of Cosmas explain also the strange conception 
of the Earth which we found in the letters of Colum 
bus. According to this latter, it will be remem 
bered, the historic hemisphere was true to the 
spherical figure, but the hemisphere of his far West 
explorations rose to a lofty eminence at the equator, 
in what he supposed to be Asia, but which after 
wards proved to be the northern part of South 
America. This gave to the Earth the figure shown 
in the adjoining cut, a figure which he compared to 
that of a nearly round pear. 3 At first view this con- 

1 E. g., by Donnelly, Atlantis, p. 96. 

2 " Terra ultra Oceanum ubi ante Diluvium habitabant homines." 
Cosmas Indicopleustes. De Mundo, lib. iv. Montfaucon, Collectio 
Nova, torn ii., Tabula i., opp. p. 188. 

3 " It is probable that this idea really dates from the seventh cen 
tury. We may read in several cosmographical manuscripts of that 
epoch that the earth has the form of a cone or a top, its surface ris- 
ing from south to north. These ideas were considerably spread by 
the compilations of John of Beauvais in 1479, from whom, probably, 
Columbus derived his notion." Flammarion, Astronomical Myths t 



ception seems altogether arbitrary, and even whim 
sical ; but if we 
go back a century 
or two to Dante s 
Earth, we find a 
globe still more 
eccentric, one on 
which the Para 
dise - mount has 
slipped down full 
30 below the equa 
tor, as shown in 
the following figure, 
construction is 

The Earth of Columbus. 

A fundamental datum for its 
found in the description of the 

Mountain of Purgato 
ry, respecting whose 
location it is said, 
" Zion stands with 
this Mountain in such 
wise on the earth that 
both have a single 
horizon and diverse 
hemispheres." a A 
commentator on this 
says, "When the Di- 
vina Commedia was 
written, Jerusalem was believed to be the exact 

The Earth of Dante. 

a. City of Jerusalem, b. Mountain of Pur 
gatory, c. Inferno within the Earth. 

p. 296. See also G. Marinelli, La Geografia e i Patri della Chiesa. 
Roma, 1882. 

1 Come cio sia, se il vuoi poter pensare, 
Dentro raccolto immagina Sion 
Con questo monte in su la terra stare, 
SI che ambo e due hanno un solo orizzon, 
E diversi emlsperi. 

(Purgatorio, Canto iv., 67-70.) 


centre of the habitable hemisphere ; the other was 
conceived to be covered with water. Out of this 
ocean the mountain of the poet s Purgatory rises up, 
like the Peak of Teneriffe, from the bosom of the 
waves, and is exactly opposite to Mount Zion, so that 
the two become the antipodes of each other. The 
mathematicians in their measurement of Dante s 
Hell proceeded in this wise : An arc of thirty de 
grees was measured from the meridian of Jerusalem 
westward as far as Cuma, near Naples, and here, at 
the Fauces Averni of Vergil, it pleased them to 
locate its dreary entrance. Another arc of thirty 
degrees was next measured from the same meridian 
eastward, so that both together made up a portion 
of the earth s circumference of about 4330 English 
miles, the chord of which would be equal to its semi- 
diameter. This was made the base of their opera 
tions, so that with the world s centre for its apex 
. . . the Inferno became as broad as it was deep. 
At this centre of gravity, firmly wedged in everlast 
ing ice, the grim monarch of these dolorous realms 
is placed." 1 

A more recent editor remarks, " Dante s Purga 
tory is figured as an island mountain whose summit 
just reaches to the first of the celestial spheres, that 
of the Moon. ... It is exactly at the antipodes of 
Jerusalem, and its bulk is precisely equal and oppo 
site to the cavity of Hell. ... On the summit of 
the mountain is the Earthly Paradise, formerly the 
Garden of Eden." 2 

1 Henry Clark >*x\w, Contributions to the Study oftheDivina Corn- 
media. London, 1864 : pp. 169, 170. 

2 A. J. Butler, The Purgatory of Dante. London, 1880 : Prefatory 
Note. Compare Witte s genial lecture on " Dante s Weltgebaude," 
in his Dante- For schungen, Bd. L, pp. 161-182. 


Upon the correctness of " the mathematicians " 
above mentioned, the present writer is not prepared 
to pass judgment, 1 but no careful reader of the Divine 
Comedy can fail to see that its " Mount Zion " and 
the Purgatorial " Montagna malagevole, altissima et 
cinta de mare! are simply unrecognized " survivals" 
of prehistoric thought, antipodal world-mountains 
once situate at the poles, but here relocated to suit 
the demands of sacred mediaeval cosmology. They 
are the Su-Meru and Ku-Meru of India figuring in 
Christian poetry. In Lord Vernon s illustration of 
this curious cosmos, a Hindu pundit would almost 
certainly think he had a Puranic mappe-monde? 
That after the Paradise-mount has thus declined, 
first to the latitude of Central Asia, then to the 
equator, and finally to the pendant position in which 
Lord Vernon places it, directly under the City of 
God, with a hypogene central Inferno between, 
that after such translocations it should so long have 
eluded the recognition of all Paradise- seekers is 
surely little wonder. 3 

1 Dante s instructor in the natural sciences was Brunetto Latini, 
who was born A. D. 1230 and died 1294. He is paid an affectionate 
tribute in the Inferno, xv. 85. He wrote a work of which Li Livres 
dou Tresor, Paris, 1863, is an Old-French edition. In it (lib. i., 
part iii., c. v.) the author ably advocates the doctrine of the spher 
ical figure of the earth. Dante s references to the author and to 
his work have been carefully collected and presented in a learned 
paper in the Jahrbuch der Deutschen Dante - Gesellschaft, Bd. iv., 
pp. 1-23. 

2 See the " Figura universale della Divina Commedia," p. xxx. of 
vol. i. of L Infer no di Dante Alighieri da G. G. Warren Lord Vernon. 
London, 1858. 

3 Flammarion s picture (Myths of Astronomy, p. 311) corresponds 
quite closely to Lord Vernon s, only the exactly south polar position 
of the mountain is made, if possible, more unequivocal by inserting 
the words " Southern Hemisphere," and making the pendant mount 


Our Arctic Eden, therefore, by explaining the 
origin of the cosmological conceptions of ancient 
Chaldsea and Egypt and India, explains at the same 
time the origin of the most eccentric and apparently 
senseless conceptions of mediaeval and modern cos- 
mographers, and presents what may properly enough 
be called the philosophy of the errors and misconcep 
tions and fancies of previous searchers after Para 
dise. It is much that an hypothesis meets all the 
requirements of a given problem ; it is more that it 
does this better than any other hypothesis ; it would 
seem to be past all question when it so illuminates 
and enriches the very data of the problem that every 
previous solution falls away of itself, the philosophy 
of its origin and of its inadequacy being patent and 

its precise culmination point beneath. See, further, S. Giinther on 
" Die Kosmologische Anschauungen des Mittelalters," in Die Rund 
schau fur Geographic und Statistik, Bd. iv. 









But as when one lights a candle to look for one or two things which they want, 
the light will not confine itself to those two objects, so methinks, in seeking after 
these two, the Universal Deluge and Paradise, and in retrieving the notion and 
doctrine of the Primeval Earth upon which they depended, we have cast a light 
upon all Antiquity. THOMAS BURNET. 

I have laid it down as an invariable maxim constantly to follow historical tradi 
tion, and to hold fast by that clue even when many things appear strange and almost 
inexplicable, or at least enigmatical ; for in the investigation of ancient history, the 
moment we let slip that thread of Ariadne, we can find no outlet from the labyrinth 
of fanciful theories and the chaos of clashing opinions. F. VON SCHLEGEL, Phi 
losophy of History. 

Le mythe du jardin d lCden n est point une fiction ; il nous donne, sous une forme 
d enfantine poe"sie, la premiere page de 1 histoire morale de humanite, de cette his- 
toire qui a pour documents non plus simplement quelques silex plus ou moins tailles, 
mais toute cette survivance d une vie divine dans 1 ame humaine, manifested par ses 
aspirations et ses douleurs, et par cet universal sentiment de la deche"ance, qui pal- 
pite dans toutes les mythologies et est 1 inspiration dominente de toutes les religions. 

Der Tempel des Heidenthums ist ein uralter Bau, aber ein Bau der nicht aus dem 
Heidenthum stammt und nicht von den Heiden selbst errichtet ist. Die Mythen- 
Inschriften und heiligen Legenden dieses Tempels enthalten urspriinglich dieUrge- 
schichte der Welt und des Menschengeschlechtes, und die Verheissungen welche 
demselben im Anfange geworden sind. LI/KEN. 



How seemed this globe of ours when thou didst scan U ? 

When in thy lusty youth there sprang to birth 
A II that hath life, unnurtured, and the planet 

Was Paradise, the true Saturnian Earth ! 
Far toward the Poles was stretched the Happy Garden, 

Earth kept it fair by warmth front her own breast ; 
Toil had not come to dwarf her sons and harden ; 

No crime (there was no want /) perturbed their rest. 

EDMUND C. STEDMAN, The Skull in the Gold Drift, 

The solution of the problem of Life may come from an unexpected quarter. 

IF the alleged facts and the conclusions of the 
foregoing chapters shall be accepted as correct, it is 
plain that in finding the true answer to one of the 
longest standing and most baffling of the problems 
of Biblical theology we have at the same time found 
one of those central key-truths, acquaintance with 
which affects a great many other kinds of knowl 
edge. Indeed, it is not too much to say that the 
acceptance of this alleged truth upon its appropri 
ate evidences, must affect men s estimate of the 
sources of knowledge. For if the sacred traditions 
of mankind, when once rightly interpreted, are dis 
covered to be in astonishing harmony with each 
other, and to yield results which our most advanced 
sciences, working in the most varied fields of re 
search, singularly conspire to verify, this discovery 
cannot fail to give new significance to history in all 


its departments and in all its teachings. But apart 
from this general effect of a verification of ancient 
testimony, our precise conclusion as to the location 
of the cradle of the human race has a most evident 
and important connection with all physical, paleon- 
tological, archaeological, philological, mythological, 
ethnological, and " culture-historical " speculation, 
in a word, a most evident and important connection 
with about every problem which in a marked degree 
attracts and occupies our modern thought. 1 In the 
present Part it is proposed to notice the relation of 
our facts and conclusions to a few of these fields of 
study, and first of all, in the present chapter, their 
bearing upon the study of biology and terrestrial 

In Part Third and in the seventh chapter of Part 
Fifth and elsewhere, we have already had various 
illustrations of the fascinating and authenticating 
light which the biological sciences can throw upon 
the study of prehistoric traditions. Possibly the 
reader, if devoted to this kind of study, has won 
dered why a field of illustration so rich has not 
oftener been utilized by writers upon antiquity. 
But however important this bearing of biological 
upon prehistoric studies may be, it should not be 
forgotten that the counterpart bearing of the study 

1 Even psychological research may be found to have a profound 
interest in our result : " Here the question arises how far it [the jug 
gler s mind-power over matter] may be affected by, or dependent 
upon, electrical and magnetic phenomena and surroundings and cli 
matic influences, since it flourishes at its best, both in the Old World 
and in the New, as one approaches the regions of the Arctic Circle, 
and enters the lands of the aurora and midnight sun." G. Archie 
Stockwell, M. D., " Indian Jugglery and Psychology," in The Inde 
pendent, New York, Sept. 27, 1883, p. 1221. 


of the earliest traceable thoughts and beliefs of 
mankind upon biology and upon the most fruitful 
study of biology is not a whit less important. This 
is a point of utmost moment to the fields of knowl 
edge concerned and also to the general theory of 
personal and organized culture ; yet it is a point 
most infrequently brought under the consideration 
of thoughtful readers. 

It is an unfortunate and ominous fact that the aver 
age biologist of the present day sees nothing worthy 
of his professional attention back of the present cen 
tury. The intellectual history of the human race 
has not the slightest interest for him or value for 
his work. Ages on ages of human observation and 
thought and speculation touching the problems of 
life are to him as if they had never been. If he ac 
quaints himself with them in the slightest degree, it 
is usually only for the sake of amusing his hearers 
with what he considers the grotesque and absurd 
ideas of former times, and impressing them with the 
contrast which latter-day " science " presents. For 
all that his race has done until just before his own 
immediate teachers began, he has little more than 
pity and contempt. 

Now, in any department of human learning, such 
an attitude of mind is certainly to be deplored. Its 
effects are detrimental in every aspect. In propor 
tion as it prevails among any class of intellectual 
workers, in just that proportion does that class be 
come isolated from the one collective and historic 
intellectual life of humanity. In this way the col 
lective intellectual life suffers, and yet more do the 
isolated workers suffer. Humanity, conscious of an 
intellectual history, naturally comes to pay little 


attention to these men who deny it, or take no in 
terest in it. On the other hand, any class of men 
who ignore the history of the human mind and be 
gin all true history and all true science with their 
own achievements, by this very procedure place 
themselves outside that spiritual fellowship in which 
all forms and fragments of knowledge find unity and 
mutual supplementing. The circle of their intellect, 
ual sympathies and tastes is narrowed. With the 
loss of broad sympathies and tastes they are in dan 
ger of losing even the capacity to discern and appre 
ciate any kind of truth outside the limited range of 
their own specialized field of professional research. 
So far has this perilous tendency already gone that 
it is a difficult thing in any country to find a cele 
brated biologist whose publicly advocated theory of 
education for his own field of labor does not quietly 
ignore, or actively antagonize, the broadening his 
torical and humanistic studies which alone can qual 
ify a man for intelligent sympathy with all good 
learning. Unless the tendency can in some way be 
checked, there is positive danger lest the special 
cultivators of biology and the natural sciences be 
come as narrow and isolated and influenceless a 
guild of experts as are the antiquarian-catalogue 
makers of modern Europe. 1 

1 A few years ago Mr. John Stuart Mill, in an address before a 
Scotch university, put forth a defense of the claims of classical stud 
ies to a place in the regular university curriculum. For this one 
crime he was recently editorially assailed and vilified through several 
columns of an American organ of natural science, and despite the 
fact that he was notoriously a disbeliever in Revelation, and was a 
professed admirer of Comte s atheistic evolutional sociology, the 
dreadful charge is brought forward : " He was in the Golden- Age, 
Paradise-Lost dispensation of thought, in which the notions of the 
early perfection of mankind and the superiority of the ancients were 


In studies like the one which has thus far en 
gaged us lies the best possible corrective for this 
one-sidedness. In this field are found stimulation 
for the student s curiosity, facts for his understand 
ing, arguments for his reason, play for his imagina 
tion. And all the time his study of Nature and his 
study of Man are mutually helpful to each other. 
He now has Nature and her life before him in two 
forms : first, as she has entombed herself in the great 
cemetery of the rocks ; and secondly, as she has pic 
tured herself in historic and even prehistoric human 
thought. If the former gives her with greater tan 
gibility, it is only the tangibility of the mouldering 
skeleton. It is the latter which shows her alive 
and filled with all life s meanings. Each is impor 
tant in its place, both being reciprocally corrective 
and mutually complementary. 

As yet the biologist has not profited by ancient 
conceptions of Nature as he should have done. 
How long and slow has been the progress of the 
botanist up to this latest conception that all the life- 
forms of the vegetable kingdom proceeded originally 
from one centre, and that at the Pole ! The ancient 
Iranian myth of " the tree of all seeds," from which 
proceeded " the germs of all species of plants " that 
ever grew, and which, moreover, was located at the 

contrasted with the degeneracy of the moderns ; and so completely 
was his intellect possessed and perverted by this view that he was dis 
abled from appreciating the immense and epoch-making influence of 
the modern doctrine of evolution." " The Dead- Language Supersti 
tion," Popular Science Monthly, New York, 1883, p. 703. Such natu 
ralists are too unlettered to know their own party leaders, or to be 
aware of the fact that it is precisely to biology that Mill pays the 
splendid tribute of declaring that among all departments of human 
knowledge it " affords as yet the only example of the true principles 
of rational classification." 


North Pole, ought long ago to have suggested to 
him the truth as to the genetic unity of the vegeta 
ble kingdom and also as to its pristine centre of dis 
tribution. The same may be said of the zoologist 
and the suggestiveness of the myths of the same 
people respecting " the primeval ox " and the Gosh, 
" the personification of the animal kingdom." 1 In 
these survivals of ancient culture we have the forms 
in which prehistoric zoology expressed the unity, the 
monogenesis, and the north polar origin of the entire 
fauna of the earth. 

It is now, perhaps, too late for the biologist to 
gain from these particular myths the instruction 
which generations ago they could have given him. 
By slower and more painful methods this beautiful 
polocentric conception of the vegetable, animal, and 
human worlds has at last been reached. The prob 
lems of earliest floral and faunal and ethnic distri 
bution have shut men up to its acceptance. But if 
the discovery of the accordant significance of these 
ancient myths has been equally delayed, we may at 
least indulge the hope that the unexpected agree 
ment of the prehistoric conception with that of 
latest science will inspire in candid students of Na 
ture a new and higher respect for the primeval teach 
ings and beliefs of mankind. Meantime let it not 
be forgotten that there are other myths, of equal 
antiquity and possibly of wider prevalence, the sig 
nificance of which for the progress of biology may 
to-day be as great as ever was that of the tree of all 

Notice, for example, this curious fact : that while 
in ancient East Aryan thought the gods on Mount 

i Darmesteter, The Zend-Avesta, Part ii., p. no. 


Meru are of prodigious stature the proper tenants of 
the adjacent regions are somewhat less, though still 
gigantic ; and they seem to dwindle regularly in 
size from Varsha to Varsha, until we reach Bharata, 
the Varsha which borders upon the equatorial ocean 
and is peopled with ordinary men. And as if the 
inhabitants of Hades, being still farther to the 
South, must be by some law of nature still smaller 
than men, Prince Satyavan s soul, when led away to 
Yama s abode, is described in the Mahabharata as 
only "a thumb in height." A striking gradation, 
every one will say. Beginning with beings some 
times represented as miles in height, it ends on the 
borders of the Land of Death with disembodied 
spirits whose stature is only a thumb s length. But 
this conception of the range of the kingdom of gen 
erated and mutable life was not limited to the an 
cestors of the Hindus. In the most ancient Greek 
thought the proper habitat of the Pygmies was near 
the equatorial Ocean-river ; farther northward was 
the abode of men ; still farther proceeding, one came 
into the region of giants ; while in polar Olympos 
the gods were so colossal that in his fall prostrate 
Ares "covered seven acres." 1 Traces of the same 
remarkable adjustment are found in other mytholo 
gies. 2 Possibly this far-off prehistoric conception 
has some significance, some lesson for the biology 
of to-day. 

What should this lesson be if not that in all our 

1 Iliad, xxi. 407. In keeping herewith the more than gigantic Po 
seidon passes with four strides from Thracian Samos to ^Egee. //., 
xiii. 20. 

2 " The idea of the soul as a sort of thumbling is familiar to the 
Hindus and to German folk-lore." E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture, 
i. 450 n. 


researches into the origin and sustaining conditions 
of life the phenomena of the highest North should 
be taken into account ? Too long have those who 
busy themselves with these investigations been 
turning their attention to the ice-cold abysses of the 
"deep sea," hoping in some " bathybius " clot of the 
sunless ocean-bottom to find the protoplasmic power 
which has transmuted inorganic matter into micro 
cosms of organic life. In no such region of cold and 
darkness should this search be made. 1 Let life s 
beginnings and life s feeding forces be looked for 
where its supreme vigor and exuberance have been 
seen, at the pristine centre whence the types and 
forms of life have spread victoriously through the 
world ; let them be studied at the Pole. 2 

On this subject as conservative an authority as 

1 " As we descend from the shore into deep water, the temperature 
becomes lower and lower the deeper we go, until we come to a stra 
tum or zone of water about 32-36 Fahrenheit, where circumpolar 
or Arctic life alone abounds. . . . The water of the ocean all over the 
globe below a depth of one thousand fathoms is of an Arctic temper 
ature." Packard, Zoology, p. 665. 

2 Since the above was written, a distinguished specialist in deep- 
sea dredging has borne the following striking testimony : " With re 
gard to the constitution of the deep-sea fauna, one of the most 
remarkable features is the general absence from it of Paleozoic 
forms, excepting so far as representatives of the Mollusca and Brach- 
iopoda are concerned ; and it is remarkable that amongst the deep- 
sea Mollusca no representatives of the Nautilidce and Ammonitida t 
so excessively abundant in ancient periods, occur, and that Lingula, 
the most ancient Brachiopod, should occur in shallow water only." 
Professor H. N. Moseley, F. R. S., Biological Address before British 
Association in 1884. Nature, August 28, 1884, p. 428. The same 
high authority adds, " With regard to the origin of the deep-sea 
fauna there can be little doubt that it has been derived almost en 
tirely from the littoral fauna," agreeing herein with Professor Sven 
Loven in his "splendid monograph," Pourtalesia, Stockholm, 1883. 
The funeral sermon of the bathybius theory of the origin of life has 
already been preached, and the text of the sermon was Job xxviii. 14. 


Principal Dawson recently remarked : " It is not 
impossible that in the plans of the Creator the con 
tinuous summer sun of the Arctic regions may have 
been made the means for the introduction, or at 
least for the rapid growth and multiplication, of new 
and more varied types of plants." 1 

In this true centre what new and interesting as 
pects the problems of life immediately take on ! 2 
Here we have a regnancy of sunlight such as we 
never dreamed of in our lower zones. Here we have 

1 " The Genesis and Migration of Plants," in The Princeton Review, 
1879, P- 292. 

2 The following, from a recent newspaper, suggests some of the new 
lines of desirable investigation : 

" The Norwegian plant-geographer, Schubeler, a short time ago 
called attention to some striking and surprising peculiarities mani 
fested by vegetation in high latitudes, which he ascribed to the inten 
sive light-effects of the long days. Most plants in these regions pro 
duce much larger and heavier seeds than in lower latitudes. Grain is 
heavier in the North than in the more Southern latitudes ; the in 
crease of weight being due to the assimilation of non-nitrogenous 
substances, while the protein products have no part in it. The leaves 
of most plants grow larger in the higher latitudes, and at the same 
time take on a deeper, darker color. This fact has been observed not 
only in most of the wild trees and shrubs, but also in fruit trees and 
even in kitchen-garden plants. It has further been observed that the 
flowers of most plants are larger and more deeply colored, and that 
many flowers which are white in the South become in the far North 

So potent and irrepressible are the powers of life in highest Arctic 
latitudes that neither darkness nor the indescribable cold avail 
against them. The algic flora well illustrates this statement. Ac 
cording to a writer in Nature, Oct. 30, 1884, nearly all Arctic algae 
live several years, and, in order that they may be able to effect the 
work of propagation and nourishment, their organs are in operation 
during the dark as well as the light season. Whilst wintering at the 
northernmost part of Spitzbergen in 1872-73, Professor Kjellman 
observed, in the middle of the winter viz., at a time when the 
sun was lowest, and the darkness, therefore, most intense that a 
considerable development and growth of the organs of nourishment 
took place, while, as regards the organs of propagation, he found that 



a tension and a direction of terrestrial magnetism 
with whose biological significance we are utterly 
unacquainted. Here we have electric forces which 
pour their currents through every grass-blade, and 
tip the very hills with lambent flame. 1 Shall not 
such absolutely exceptional biological conditions 
and energies be found to yield some exceptional 
biological result ? Is not this a more hopeful field 
for the study of the origin of life than the dark and 
almost congealed recesses of the deep sea ? The old 
theologians were accustomed to call Adam and Eve 

it was just at this season that they were most developed. Spores of 
all kinds were produced and became mature, and they developed 
into splendid plants. The Arctic algae, therefore, present the re 
markable spectacle of plants which develop their organs of nourish 
ment, and particularly their organs of propagation, all the year round, 
even during the long Polar night, growing regularly at a temperature 
of between 1 and 2 C., and even attaining a great size at a 
temperature which never rises above freezing-point. As to " mother- 
region," the result at which Professor Kjellman arrived was that the 
algae flora of the Arctic Ocean is not an immigrant flora, but that its 
origin lay in the Polar Sea itself. This theory is, he believes, proved 
by the fact that the Arctic algae flora is rich in endemic species. 
There are many species found both in the Northern Atlantic and the 
Pacific Oceans, a large percentage of which reaches very far north 
in the Arctic Sea, and which have attained a high degree of develop 
ment there, being characteristic algae of the Arctic Ocean ; and that 
these species have been originated there, and gradually spread to the 
other two oceans is, as he believes, more than probable. How little 
our zonal diversities of climate affect the question of the possibility 
of a universal distribution of a north polar flora, or even fauna, is 
well illustrated in the following : " A remarkable fact associated 
with the ocean temperature is that forms of animal life belonging to 
the Arctic seas have been dredged up from the Antarctic Ocean at 
depths of two thousand fathoms, and may have passed from pole to 
pole through the tropics [in deep-sea currents] without having been 
subjected to a greater variation of temperature than some five degrees or 
to." Gen. R. McCormick, Voyages of Discovery in the Arctic and 
Antarctic Seas. London, 1884 : vol. i., p. 354. 
1 The Arctic Manual, p. 739. 


the "Protoplasts;" in their ancient polar home it 
is possible that science may yet discover the divine 
secret of all "protoplasm" 

Again, our new interest in one of the terrestrial 
polar regions gives fresh significance to the con 
trasts between the two. 1 Within ten years our most 
eminent American geologist has said, " I find no 
explanation in the present state of science, where 
fore most of the dry land of the globe should have 
been located about the North Pole, and of the water 
about the South. Physicists say that it indicates 
greater attraction and therefore a greater density in 
the solid material beneath the southern ocean. But 
why the mineral ingredients should have been so 
gathered about the South Pole as to give the crust 
there greater density is the unanswered query. It 
may be that magnetite is much more abundantly 
diffused through the Antarctic crust than the Arctic. 
This is only one of many possibilities, and it is at 
present without a satisfactory fact to stand upon 
beyond the general truth that iron was universally 
present." 2 

But the diversity of the two Poles is as great and 
as perplexing to the biologist as to the physical 
geographer. " The researches made show that the 
two polar regions differ greatly. The seas of the 

1 " The higher mean temperature of the Northern compared to the 
Southern hemisphere is clearly proved and universally acknowledged." 
Professor Hennessy on " Terrestrial Climate " in Philosophical Maga 
zine and Journal of Science. London and Edinburgh, 1859 : p. 189. 
On the Northern hemisphere s greater length of spring and summer 
see Malte-Brun, System of Universal Geography. Boston, 1834 : vol. i., 
p. 14. Also Mansfield Merriman, The Figure of the Earth. New 
York, 1881 : p. 76. The disparity of mean temperature is now be 
lieved to be less than was formerly supposed. 

2 Professor Dana, in American Journal of Science, 1875, v l ^^ 


Arctic teem with animal life. Land animals, such 
as the bear, wolf, reindeer, musk-ox, and Arctic fox, 
are scattered over the frozen surface of the land 
where they find the means of sustenance. The air is 
peopled with innumerable flocks of birds ; a hardy 
vegetation extends close up to the Arctic Circle, and 
beyond it, in mosses, lichens, scurvy-grass, sorrel, 
small stunted shrubs, dwarfed trees, and in summer 
beautiful flowers. In the Antarctic, on the con 
trary, vegetation ceases at a certain limit, trees ter 
minating at about 56 S. latitude. Animal life 
abounds in the seas, but though birds exist in great 
numbers and in varieties unknown in the Arctic, 
no quadrupeds are found upon the land." l 

With this we may compare the already cited lan 
guage of Sir Joseph Hooker : " Geographically speak 
ing, there is no Antarctic flora except a few lichens 
and seaweeds." 2 

Would it not seem as if the South Pole must 
have been covered by " the barren sea " at the 
period when floral and faunal life, starting at its 
Arctic centre, began its conquering marches over 
all the Earth ? Or is there rather some marked 
difference in the biological value of the poles them 
selves ? 3 

But polar biological research involves antecedent 
Polar Exploration and a wider and more system- 

1 C. P. Daly in Johnson s Cyclopedia, Art. " Polar Research." 

2 Nature, London, 1881, p. 447. 

8 The latter explanation would seem to be favored by the experi 
ments of Dr. Ferdinand Cohn, who found that a positive electrode 
would hinder the development of micrococcus " in bci weitem hoherem 
Grade als die negative" Beitrdge zur Biologic der Pflanzen. Breslau, 
1879: p. 159. It is also known that eggs may be hatched quicker al 
one pole of a magnet than at the other. 


atic study of Terrestrial Physics. 1 Herein lies a 
fresh and novel impulse to reinvest on every side 
the still uncaptured citadel of the Arctic Pole. 
Long ago could Maury write, " As science has ad 
vanced, men have looked with deeper and deeper 
longings toward the mystic circles of the Polar 
regions. There icebergs are framed and glaciers 
launched ; there the tides have their cradle, the 
whales their nursery ; there the winds complete 
their circuits, and the currents of the sea their 
round; there the aurora is lighted up, and the trem 
bling needle brought to rest ; there, too, in the mazes 
of that mystic circle, terrestrial forces of occult 
power and of vast influence upon the well-being of 
man are continually at play. Within the Arctic 
Circle is the pole of the winds and the poles of cold, 
the pole of the earth and of the magnet. It is a 
circle of mysteries ; and the desire to enter it, to 
explore its untrodden wastes and secret chambers, 
and to study its physical aspects has grown into 
a longing. Noble daring has made Arctic ice and 
snow-clad seas classic ground. It is no feverish ex 
citement nor vain ambition that leads men there. 
It is a higher feeling, a holier motive : a desire to 
look into the works of creation, to comprehend the 
economy of our planet, and to grow wiser and better 
by the knowledge." If such a passion for discovery 
could be kindled in the presence of the older and 
more abstract problems, what ought to be the result 
when to these are added the possibility of solving 
at least some of the mysteries of Nature s Life, and 
the certainty of standing where Human Life began ! 

1 See APPENDIX, Sect. VII.: "Latest Polar Research." Also An- 
dree, Der Kampf urn den Nordpol. 4 Aufl., Bielefeld, 1882. 



A nd the Greeks, ivho surpassed all men in ingenuity, appropriated to themselves 
the greater part of these things, exaggerating them, and adding to them various 
ornaments which they wove into this foundation in every style, in order to charm 
by the elegance of the myths. Hence Hesiod and the famed cyclic poets drew their 
theogonies, their gigantomachies, their mutilations of the gods, and in hawking 
them, about everywhere they have supplanted the true narrative. And our ears, 
accustomed to their fictions, familiar to us for several centuries past, guard as a 
precious deposit the fables which they received by tradition, as I remarked when 
I began to speak ; and, rooted by time, this belief has become so difficult to dislodge 
that to the greater number the truth appears like a story told for amusement, 
while the corruption of the tradition is looked upon as the truth itself. PHILO OF 

SUMMING up the most probable results of all his 
investigations, Darwin states as his opinion that 
man must be considered as "descended from a 
hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed 
ears, probably arboreal in his habits, and an inhab 
itant of the Old World." J 

According to Hackel, this Homo primigenius was 
a blackish, woolly-haired, prognathous, ape-like be 
ing, with a long, narrow head. His body was en 
tirely covered with hair, and he was unable to speak. 

In reading most fashionable writers upon ancient 
mythology and literature, one would think that they 
conceived of the writers of the Vedic Hymns and 
the authors of the myths of classic literature as very 
early and but slightly developed descendants of this 
hairy Homo Darwinius. Thus, according to Mr. 

1 Descent of Man, Pt. II., ch. 21. 


Keary, at the time that the myth of the Cyclops 
originated, " men really believed that the stormy sky 
was a being and the sun his eye." 1 Indeed, it 
might almost appear, from another passage in the 
same book, that at the period when this Cyclops- 
faith was reached men had arrived at quite an ad 
vanced stage as compared with the earlier one, when 
as yet they knew too little to look up at the sky at 
all, and had an idea that the branches of the trees 
extended quite to heaven. " The power of gazing 
upward to heaven," he says, " came to us not all at 
once, but gradually, through lapse of time. Savages 
are said scarcely ever to raise their eyes, and their 
heads are naturally inclined with a downward gaze, 
so that it must be an effort for them to look at the 
sky and the heavenly bodies. Primeval man lived 
upon roots and berries, or on the lesser animals and 
the vermin which he gathered from the soil, and so 
habit as well as nature kept his eyes fixed upon the 
ground. We need not therefore wonder if, in their 
half-glances upward, our forefathers had not leisure 
to observe that the tree-top was not really close 
against the sky. They may well have deemed that 
the upper branches hid themselves in infinitely re 
mote ethereal regions." 2 

The work which such men make in interpreting 
ancient literature and thought is strange enough. 
The ascription to Agni of the same supreme wor 
ship which the bard has just paid to Varuna or Mi- 
tra is explained as due to the extreme " shortness of 
the memory " of early men. 3 Only a knowledge of 

1 Outlines of Primitive Relief. 1882 : p. 27. 

2 Ibid., p. 58. 
8 Ibid., p. 115. 


a most limited portion of the earth s surface can be 
conceded to any of the ancient nations. The early 
Aryans sing of the Ocean and of ships of an hun 
dred oars, but it must not for a moment be sup 
posed that they had ever seen or heard of the real 
Ocean ; they had simply originated in their imag 
inations a mythical one. 1 In such hands the im 
mortal Iliad becomes merely " a tale of land-battle, 
the theatre of whose action is limited to the two 
shores of the ^Egaean, the known world of the 
Greek." 2 Though the Homeric poems betray in va 
rious places an acquaintance with astronomy, and 
actually name various constellations, yet, when the 
question is raised as to how the poet conceived of 
the return of the sun during the night from the 
West to the East, even Mr. Bunbury silences us, 
telling us that in Homer s day nobody had ever 
thought of such a question ! 3 

Illustrations of this worse than mediaeval igno 
rance and distortion of ancient thought and language 
could be multiplied to almost any extent. But as 
some selection must be made, it may perhaps be 
best to confine ourselves to three or four points in 
a field comparatively familiar to all readers likely to 
peruse these pages, the field of Homeric cosmol 
ogy. If we succeed according to our expectation we 

1 Ch. Ploix, " L Ocean des Anciens," Revue Archeologique, 1877, 
vol. xxxiii.. pp. 47-54. 

2 Keary, Primitive Belief t p. 296. 

3 " How the sun was carried back to the point from which it was 
to start afresh on its course, it is probable that no one in his day ever 
troubled himself to inquire." (!) Hist. Ancient Geography, vol. i., p. 
34. This does not well accord with the statement of Bergaine : " Le 
sejour et 1 etat du soleil quand il a disparu sont des questions qui pre- 
occupent vivement les poetes vediques." La Religion Vedique, torn, 
i., p. 6. 


shall make it plain that those interpreters of Homer 
whose conceptions of Greek culture are derived 
from current Darwinistic anthropology rather than 
from the poems themselves, demonstrate, by the 
number and character of their exegetical entangle 
ments, the entire incorrectness of their fundamental 
assumption. 1 

i. The question just touched upon, the Move 
ment of the Sun, is as good as any with which to 
begin, and by which to show the embarrassments 
into which accepted interpreters have continually 
fallen in consequence of denying to the ancients a 
knowledge of the spherical figure of the Earth. 

Opening Keightley, we find the customary asser 
tion that "according to the ideas of the Homeric and 
Hesiodic ages the Earth was a round, flat disk, around 
which the river Ocean flowed." Then he says that 
" men, seeing the sun rise in the East and set in the 
West each day, were naturally led to inquire how 
his return to the East was effected." He alludes to 
the fact that " in the Odyssey, when Helios ends 
his diurnal career, he is said to go under the Earth ;" 
but he adds that " it is not easy to determine whether 
the poet meant that he then passed through Tar- 
taros back to the East during the night." The 
" beautiful fiction of the solar cup or basin," he thus 
describes : " If, then, as there is reason to suppose, 
it was the popular belief that a lofty mountainous 
ring ran round the edge of the Earth, it was easy 
for the poets to feign that on reaching the western 

1 In W. Helbig s new work, Das Homerische Epos von den Denk- 
mdlern erlautert, Leipsic, 1884, we have some symptoms of a new and 
better type of Homeric archaeology. The author holds that in Ho 
mer s day there were evidences of "lost arts," and in the treasures 
found at Mycenae he sees the products of a pre-Homeric civilization. 


stream of Ocean Helios himself, his chariot and his 
horses, were received into a magic cup or boat, 
made by Hephaistos, which, aided by the current, 
conveyed him during the night round the northern 
part of the earth, where his light was only enjoyed 
by the happy Hyperboreans, the lofty Rhiphaeans 
concealing it from the rest of mankind. They must 
also have supposed that the cup continued its course 
during the day, compassing the earth every twenty- 
four hours." Of this fiction, however, Keightley 
confesses, "neither Homer nor Hesiod evinces any 
knowledge." After quoting various later poets, 
therefore, he concludes as follows : " From a con 
sideration of all these passages it may seem to fol 
low that the ideas of the poets on this subject were 
very vague and fleeting. Perhaps the prevalent 
opinion was that the Sun rested himself and his 
weary steeds in the West, and then returned to the 
East! l By what passage, however, whether via 
the North or underneath the supposed u flat disk " 
of the Earth, Keightley makes no further effort to 

The difficulty in the way of supposing that in 
Homer s thought the nocturnal sun passed under 
neath the flat Earth-disk, through Tartaros, back to 
the East, is that the poet invariably represents this 
Underworld as forever unvisited by sunlight. In 
view of this, and of the ominous silence of Homer 
as to any winged cup sailing round the earth to the 
North, some interpreters warn us against expecting 
any consistency of thought in poetry so primitive. 2 

1 Mythology, pp. 47-50. Here, as usual, Keightley closely follows 
Volcker. For the " mountainous ring " see Ukert s map. 

2 " Of popular views and conceptions one must not demand con- 


Schwenck goes so far in this direction as to suggest 
that the island Aiaie is a creation of the imagina 
tion in the far West, called forth for the express 
purpose of giving the mind a kind of resting-place, 
where it can leave the sinking Helios without troub 
ling itself with inconvenient speculations as to how 
he is to get back to the Orient at the appointed 
hour. He says : " The Homeric poetry could not 
allow the Sun and the daylight to rest during the 
night in the Homeric Hades, for in that case Hades 
would have been illuminated. It therefore supposes 
an island afar off at the end of the world, where 
Helios and Dawn, after they have passed over across 
the heavens, repose at night, and whence, after this 
repose, they in the morning again ascend the sky. 
An exact explanation as to how they come west- 
wardly to this island and then in the morning rise 
in the East lies aloof from the poetry, for in Homer 
nothing of systems is to be found, and only each ob 
ject taken by itself is correct and clear." l 

Assume once a spherical Earth, and all these dif 
ficulties of the interpreters are at an end. East and 
West touch each other. Mr. Gladstone, before aban 
doning fully the flat-earth theory, came as near the 
truth as he possibly could and not hit it, when, 
speaking of Helios, he wrote: "The fact of his 
sporting with the oxen night and morning goes far 
to show that Homer did not think of the Earth as 
a plane, but round, perhaps, as upon a cylinder, and 

sistency or completion. They go up to a certain point, apprehend 
only a part, and this only as it appears at first blush ; they leave one 
side all conclusive reflection, and are unconcerned about contradic 
tions since they are not conscious of any" J. F. Lauer in Anhang to 
Ameis s Odyssey, x. 86. 

1 Cited in Ameis, Odyssey, Anhang, xii. 4. 


believed that the West and East were in contact." * 
He mistook, however, in suggesting Thrinakia as 
the place of contact. It was rather on the meridian 
of Aiaie, for we are expressly told that 

Wi r Hows 
otKia Kal XPl " 1 K d avro\al HeAioto. 

" There are the abodes and dance-grounds of Au 
rora, there the risings of the Sun." 2 

Nor could anything be more natural than that the 
poet, conceiving of the world of living men as 
Homer did, and sending out his thoughts eastward 
and westward in search of the meeting-place of even 
ing and morning, should fix upon the meridian oppo 
site his own, the very place and only place where 
his eastward -journeying thought and his westward 
journeying thought would of necessity meet. His 
eastern hemisphere would naturally extend round 
eastward until it met the edge of the hemisphere 
extending round westward. On that farthest off me 
ridian, 3 therefore, he made the old day give place to 
the new, eve to morn. That was the doubtful line on 
which Odysseus and his companions were no longer 
clear : " where was East and where was West, where 
Helios went behind the Earth or where he rose 
again." 4 

2. The false assumption that Homer s Earth is 
flat has created all the noted controversies connected 
with his representations of the location of Hades. 
This question has divided Homeric interpreters into 
more than a dozen differing camps. Their mutually 

1 Juventus Mundi, p. 325. 

2 Odyssey, xii. 3, 4. 

8 That the son of Odysseus by Kirke should have been named Teleg 
onos, " the far-away begotten" thus becomes peculiarly significant. 
* Odyssey, x. 189-192. 


contradictory solutions of the problem would be the 
laughing-stock of the opposers of classical studies, 
were these latter only sufficiently acquainted with 
the world s scholarship to be aware of their exist 
ence. To review and solve the question in this 
place would detain the general reader too long, but 
in the Appendix, Section sixth, the assertions here 
made will be found abundantly verified. 

3. The same flat-earth assumption is further re 
sponsible for all the difficulties which interpreters 
have found in representing the Ocean, and in gen 
eral the Water System of the Earth, in accordance 
with the Homeric data. 

These difficulties have been neither few nor small. 
Four of them we will here notice. And, first, that 
growing out of the statement that from deep-flow 
ing Ocean " flow all rivers and every sea, and all 
fountains and deep wells." 1 Volcker pronounces 
this " hard to explain." He says, " An immediate 
in-streaming of the Ocean into the sea can scarcely 
be meant, partly because sea- water and ocean-water 
do not unite, partly because Homer knows of no 
such in-streamings in the Phasis and at the Pillars 
of Hercules, and the origination of rivers in this 
way would not be thinkable." 2 Other writers, de 
voted to the illustration of ancient thought, seem 
not to have stopped to inquire whether rivers flow 
ing up-stream from the Ocean to the hills were 
thinkable or not, and have gravely set before the 
youthful student diagrams constructed on this plan 
as the true representation of Homeric thought ! 3 

1 Iliad y xxi. 196. 

3 Homerische Geographic, 49. 

1 See the older Classical Atlases. " According to Homer," says 


A second embarrassing question has been this : 
"If the Ocean - stream surrounded and constituted 
the outermost boundary of the Earth-disk, what sus 
tained the Ocean-stream itself and constituted its 
further shore ? " As Volcker says, " Who on the 
further side held in the billows of the vast World- 
river, that they did not flow off into the empty 
spaces of heaven ? Was it a narrow strip of the 
inner Earth, or was it formless chaos, or the descend 
ing rim of the sky, or the inner power of the waters 
themselves ? " l Buchholz says, " By what the Ocean 
itself was in turn bounded remains unclear. The 
child-like imagination of the Homeric age contented 
itself with that confused halbverschwommene con 
ception." 2 The most natural answer, especially 
from the point of view represented by Buchholz, 
who, with Ukert and others, claims that the Ho 
meric heaven was literally metallic, would seem to 
be Volcker s third supposition, namely, that the rim 
of the metallic sky constitutes the outer limit of the 
Ocean-stream. 3 This would correspond, also, with 
the general notion that the circular disk of the earth 
" divided the hollow sphere of the universe into two 
equal parts." 4 It would also exactly correspond to 

Theodore Alois Buckley, in his translation of the Iliad > "the Earth is 
a circular plane, and Oceanus is an immense stream encircling it, 
from which the rivers flow inward" of course, therefore, up-hill. 

1 Horn. Geog., 49. Compare Keightley : "As it was a stream it 
must have been conceived to have a further bank to confine its 
course." Mythology of Greece, p. 33. 

2 Homerische Realien, I. I, p. 55. 

3 In his earlier work, Die Mythologie des Japetischen Geschlechtes, 
Giessen, 1824, p. 60, Volcker distinctly represents this as the ancient 
Greek conception : " Wo der Himmel sich wahrhaft an den Okean 
schliesst und dem kiihnen Schiffer das letzte Ziel geworden" 

* Keightley, MythoL, p. 29. 


Flach s curious and elaborate representation of the 
Hesiodic world in his recent work on the Hesiodic 
cosmogony. 1 Still further it would seem best to ac 
cord with Homer s language describing the heavenly 
constellations as bathing in the Ocean. On the 
other hand, however, such a supposition would be 
incompatible with the Homeric representation that 
the farther shore presented a suitable landing-place, 
and especially a landing-place situated, like that of 
Odysseus, in the Underworld. Moreover, it would 
be incompatible with the current notion that the 
Homeric heaven was supported upon mountain pillars 
standing on the Earth inside the Ocean-stream, like 
Mount Atlas in western Libya. 2 Again, therefore, 
the question returns, "Given a flat Earth surrounded 
by the Ocean-river, what constitutes the farther 
shore, and how can the mariner who lands upon it 
speak of himself as in the Underworld ? " The 
learned Volcker leaves the subject with the unsatis 
fying observation, "The poet has not answered our 

A third embarrassment dwelt upon by the same 
advocate of the flat-earth theory is that, as he un 
derstands Homer, Hellas was the centre of the cir 
cular Earth-disk, and not more than " ten or eleven 
days sail " from the Ocean in any direction ; and 
yet the poet makes it eighteen days sail by the 
shortest route from Ogygia to the land of the Phae- 
acians, and at least another in the same direction to, 

1 Hans Flach, Das System der Hesiodischen Kosmogonie. Leipsic, 
1874. (Diagram prefixed.) 

2 Maury, Histoire des Religions de la Grece Antique. Paris, 1857 : 
vol. i., p. 596. In like manner Bunbury, History of Ancient Geogra 
phy, vol. i., p. 33, represents the solid Homeric vault as resting on 
the outermost edge of the circular earth just inside the Ocean-stream. 


Hellas, and yet Ogygia is the navel or centre of the 
sea. "These," says he, "are insurmountable diffi 
culties for him who would measure with the com 
passes. Rather should we learn from this example 
what folk-faith and folk-tales are. Where there is 
no agreement we should not create one by main 
force. The Earth is circular and Hellas is its cen 
tre; that was the popular faith. But the situation of 
the Ocean and the extent of the Earth are at the 
same time such fluctuating ideas, and all any way 
extended voyages seem to the poet to extend to 
such a terrific distance, that it may well happen 
to him to overpass all bounds out in that realm 
where were, so to speak, the most terrific of all dis 
tances." 1 Thus the nodding Homer is again caught 
in contradiction, and to accommodate his exagger 
ated and terrific distances even Gladstone at first 
felt constrained to change the figure of the Earth- 
disk itself, and to present it as a vast parallelogram 
more extended from North to South than from East 
to West. 2 

The fourth difficulty involved in the current inter 
pretation is that experienced in harmonizing the 
poet s representations of the Ocean, as commonly 
understood, with his representations of the move 
ments of the sun, as commonly understood. The 
sun at evening certainly ceases to be visible to men. 
According to the Homeric representation he returns 
to the flowing of the Ocean. 3 His bright light 
sinks in it. 4 At his rising it is also from the Ocean 

1 Horn. Geographic, 50. 

2 See his map. Comp. Juventus Mundi, p. 493. 
8 Iliad, xviii. 240. 

4 Iliad, viii. 485. 


that he begins to mount the sky. 1 Yet his setting 
is also described as a going eTs VTTO yalav, under or 
behind the Earth. 2 How now, with a flat circular 
disk for the Earth, and with a circumfluent Ocean in 
the same plane, and with an eternally dark and un 
sunned Hades just beyond the Ocean-river to the 
westward, can these data be harmonized ? If we at 
tempt to conceive of the Sun as literally sinking in 
the ocean and hiding his light beneath its waters, he 
has not gone e?s VTTO yalav, but rather " in under" the 
Ocean. Moreover, the old difficulty reappears as to 
how he shall get round into the East in time for his 
rising again. Furthermore, if he is the whole night 
concealed under the waves of the Ocean, descending 
into it in the far West at his setting and ascending 
out of it in the far East at his rising, how can we 
arrange for his rejoicing himself night and morning 
with his oxen on the island of Thrinakia ? 3 But 
we cannot abandon this whole supposition, and let 
the Sun set beyond and behind the Ocean-stream, for 
that would be in the western Hades, where he never 
shines. Nor yet, again, can we say that he descends 
to the surface of the Ocean simply, and then, in his 
" cup," or otherwise, moves round to the Orient by 
way of the North, for then, the Ocean being in sub 
stantially the same plane as the abode of men, they 
would not be overspread with darkness, but would 
enjoy, if not the spectacle of " the midnight sun," 
at least the full light of a sun moving round the 

1 Iliad, vii. 422 ; Odyssey, xix. 433. 

2 Odyssey, x. 191. 

8 Odyssey, xii. 380. The only diagram based upon this conception 
which I remember to have seen is in the rare and curious work by 
Johannes Herbinius, Dissertationes de admirandis mundi Cataractis. 
Amstel. 1678 : p. 13. 


horizon. On this supposition, too, Hades, just west 
of the river, would also be equally illuminated. In 
side the Ocean-stream he certainly does not hide 
himself in the ground, for that would be incompati 
ble with all the passages associating his rising and 
setting with the Ocean. But if he cannot be con 
ceived of as setting on the hither side of the stream, 
nor on the farther side, nor yet as resting on the 
Ocean, nor yet as hiding beneath it, what possible 
conception of the matter remains ? 

All this trouble is the natural result of one false 
assumption, the assumption that Homer s Earth is 
a flat disk, Assume that it is a sphere, and every 
one of these difficulties vanishes. Then, in caus 
ing the Sun to descend to the Ocean in which lies 
Aiaie the poet makes the bed to which the king of 
day retires the same as that from which in the 
morning he rises again. At the same time, from the 
poet s standpoint and from the standpoint of the 
lands inhabited by the poet s countrymen, each set 
ting of the Sun was a going " behind the earth," to 
reappear on the opposite side. This view of the 
movement of Helios solves every perplexity ; and if 
Homer had the knowledge of the Earth and Heavens 
involved in the view, we may be sure he also knew 
as well as we do in what sense the Ocean is the 
source of all springs and rivers, and for what reason 
the equatorial Ocean never runs away for the lack 
of an ultra-terrestrial shore. 

4. The same hermeneutical myopia which has 
thus minified and misconceived every feature of Ho 
mer s cosmography has introduced and maintained 
the now universal dogma that in the Homeric poems 
" Olympos is always the Thessalian mountain " of 


that name. 1 All our youth are taught that " the 
early poets believed that the gods actually lived 
upon the top of this mountain separating Macedonia 
and Thessaly. Even the fable of the giants scaling 
heaven must be understood in a literal sense ; not 
that they placed Pelion and Ossa upon the top of 
Olympos to reach the still higher heaven, but that 
they piled Pelion on the top of Ossa and both on 
the lower slopes of Olympos to scale the summit of 
Olympos itself, the abode of the gods." 2 To settle 
the question negatively as well as positively, revered 
German erudition solemnly declares, "The gods of 
Homer never live in heaven." 3 Such dogmatism 
challenges a fresh investigation of the question. 

Taking up this subject, Keightley remarks that if 
we were to follow the teachings of Comparative 
Mythology we should have to locate the abode of 
Homer s gods in the heights of heaven. His lan 
guage is : " Were we to follow analogy, and argue 
from the cosmology of other races of men, we would 
say that the upper surface of the superior hemi 
sphere was the abode of the Grecian gods." 4 He 
goes on to allude to the conceptions of the Scandi 
navians and some other peoples, and adds, " Hence 
we might be led to infer that Olympos, the abode of 
the Grecian gods, was synonymous with heaven, 
and that the Thessalian mountain and those others 
which bore the same name were called after the 
original heavenly hill." 

It is a pity that the learned author could not have 

1 Ameis and Hentze, Ilias, i. 44. 

2 Smith s Classical Dictionary, Art. " Olympus." 
8 Volcker, Homerische Geographic, pp. 9, 12. 

4 Mythology. Fourth Edition. London, 1877 : p. 34. 


accepted this very sensible conclusion ; but he did 
not. Rejecting the admitted intimations of Com 
parative Cosmology, he says, "A careful survey, 
however, of those passages in Homer and Hesiod in 
which Olympos occurs will lead us to believe that 
the Achaeans held the Thessalian Olympos, the 
highest mountain with which they were acquainted, 
to be the abode of their gods." 

The only passage specially referred to by Keight- 
ley, as establishing this view, is the Iliad, xiv. 225 
seq., where the language employed is not at all in 
consistent with the idea that, in descending from 
the summit of Olympos, Hera descended from the 
northern sky. More elaborate is the argument of 
Volcker, 1 but its logical cogency is by no means 

The true Homeric conception of the abode of the 
gods is far loftier, grander, and more poetic than 
that given us by such interpreters. According to 
the poet s real representation, that abode is "the 
wide heaven," not the atmospheric heaven, ovpa- 
voi/ lv aWepi KOL ve^eA^o-ti/, for this is a special posses 
sion of Zeus (Iliad, xv. 192) ; it is the upper sky, 

1 Homerische Geographic und Weltktmde, pp. 4-20. Copied by 
Buchholz, Horn. Realien, I. 12. Professor Blackie s reasoning is en 
tirely subjective : " In a spiritual religion, like Christianity, the word 
heaven will always be kept as vague as possible ; in an imaginative 
and sensuous religion, like the Greek, it must be localized. A Zeus 
with human shape and members must sit on a terrestrial seat ; and 
the only seat proper for him is the highest mountain in the country 
to which he belongs. Now, as the original seat of the Greeks, when 
they rested from their long journey by the Caspian and Euxine west 
ward, was the plains of Macedonia and Thessaly, the necessary local 
ity for the throne of the Supreme God and the council of the Immor 
tals was Olympos, the extreme east end of the long Cambunian range 
separating Thessaly from Macedonia, to the north of the Peneios and 
the defile of Tempe." Homer and the Iliad. Edinburgh, 1866 : vol 
iv., p. 174. 


the celestial dome in which sun, moon, and stars 
wheel silently around the Pole. To the early Greek, 
as to the early Perso-Aryan, it was easy to con 
ceive of this celestial dome as a heavenly moun 
tain, vast, majestic, of unearthly beauty, and peo 
pled with glorious beings invisible to mortals. And 
this heavenly mountain he called Olympos. The 
Thessalian mount, the Bithynian, and all the dozen 
others of the same name l were sacred only so far as 
they symbolized and commemorated their heavenly 
original. In the Odyssey, xi. 315, it is plain that 
Homer speaks of the Thessalian Olympos along 
with other Thessalian mountains ; 2 but in general 
he means by Olympos the heights of the northern 
heaven viewed as the proper abode of the gods. 3 
The proofs of the incorrectness of the current 

1 Heyschius professed to have knowledge of fourteen mountains 
bearing the name of Olympos. 

2 To all who deny that heaven was to Homer the abode of the 
gods this passage presents insurmountable difficulties. To place 
Ossa upon Olympos, then upon Ossa Pelion, in order, by means of 
the three, to climb up into an abode situated on the top of the under 
most of the three, is the problem ! No wonder that Volcker thinks 
Homer has been overpraised for his knowledge of localities and of 
the arrangement of mountains : " Der Olymp muss auf jeden Fall zu 
unterst kommen, und die Folgerung aus dieser Stelle fiir die Homer- 
ische Localkenntniss und Grundlage der Wirklichkeit in Anordnung 
der Berge miissen wir dahin gestellt sein lassen." Horn. Geog., p. 9. 
Truly amusing is the haughty remark under which Hartung beats a 
retreat : " Warum aber sollte ein Gelehrter iiber solche Wiederspriiche 
sich Scrupel machen da die religiose Vorstellung sich niemals daran 
gestossen hat?" Die Religion und Mythologie der Griec/ien, Th. iii., 
6. But one German, and he a Swiss, seems to have apprehended 
the inevitable implication of this passage : " Jedoch war dem Griechen 
wohl bewusst, dass die Gotter nicht eigentlich und wirklich auf dem 
Olymp wohnten, wie aus der Beschreibung des Kampfes des Otus 
und Ephialtes gegen die olympischen Gotter hervorgeht." Rinck, 
Die Religion der Hellenen. Zurich, 1853 : vol. i., p. 207. 

8 Compare Pictet, Les Origines, Paris, 1877 : torn, iii., p. 225. 


interpretation appear on almost every page of the 
Homeric poems. The designation of the gods by 
the formula ot ovpavov evpw IX OV(TLV occurs twice in the 
Iliad and sixteen times in the Odyssey, but the ex 
pressions " who possess the wide heaven," in Odys 
sey, xix., line 40, and " who possess Olympos," line 
43, are plainly identical in meaning. 1 So in the Iliad, 
"the immortals who possess the Olympian man 
sions " and " the gods who possess the wide heaven " 
are unquestionably interchangeable phrases. 2 Hence 
also " the Olympians," " the Uranians," and " the 
Epouranians " are names of the same beings. 3 In 
Hesiod s Theogony the expression ei/ros OA^TTOV, 
" within Olympos," occurs no less than three times. 4 
To translate it according to the current interpreta 
tion of Homer is to locate the palace of Zeus in the 
heart of an earthly mountain and to transform the 
" Lichtgestalten " of his heavenly court into Trolls. 
In book twenty -four of the Iliad, verse ninety- 

1 Comp. xii. 339 ; also the Homeric Hymn, In Apollinem, ii. 320, 
334. In the Iliad, \\\\., lines 393 and 411, the selfsame portals are 
called now " gates of heaven," now "gates of Olympos." 

2 Book i. 18 ; ii. 13, 30, 484 ; v. 383, 404, et passim. See Volcker, 
Homerische Geographic, p. 13 ( 9). 

3 Book i. 399, xx. 47, and often ; i. 570 ; v. 373, 898, etc. ; vi. 
129, 131, 527. Compare i. 497 : 

Hepf?? 8 avfp-r) fj.4yav ovpavbv Otf\v/LLTr6v re. 

A similar identification occurs in Hesiod, 7fteogony, v. 689. See L. 
Preller, " Daher der Himmel und der Olymp auch ganz gleichbe- 
deutend gebraucht werden kdnnen." Griechische Mythologie. Leip- 
sic, 1854 : vol. i., p. 48. 

4 Lines 37, 51, 408. The interpreters of Hesiod have found this 
so great a crux that Gottling and Paley make it a ground for ques 
tioning the genuineness or antiquity of the passages. See also 
Schoemann, Die hesiodische Theogonie ausgelegt und bewtheilt. Ber 
lin, 1868: p. 303. Yet Pfau, in Pauly s Real-Encydopaedie, Art 
" Olympos," affirms that we find in Hesiod " exactly the same con 
ceptions of Olympos " as in Homer. 


seven, we are told that Iris and Thetis were im 
pelled up " to heaven " (es ovpavov). But the moment 
the Father of gods and men begins discourse, 
he says, "Thou hast come to Olympos, O goddess 
Thetis ; " and in verse one hundred twenty-one the 
bard resumes, " Thus he spoke ; nor did the silver- 
footed goddess Thetis disobey, but rushing im 
petuously, she descended down from the tops of 
Olympos." 1 

One of the most vivid of the pictures of Olympian 
life in the whole Iliad is that portraying (book xv. 
14 ff.) the punishment of Hera by Zeus. In the 
literal translation of Buckley, it is thus rendered : 
" O Hera, of evil arts, impracticable, thy stratagem 
has made noble Hector cease from battle, and put 
his troops to flight. Indeed, I know not whether 
again thou mayst not be the first to reap the fruits 
of thy pernicious machinations, and I chastise thee 
with stripes. Dost thou not remember when thou 
didst swing from on high, and I hung two anvils 
from thy feet, and bound a golden chain around thy 
hands, that could not be broken ? And thou didst 
hang in the air and clouds, and the gods commis 
erated thee throughout lofty Olympos ; but stand 
ing around, they were not able to release thee ; but 
whomsoever I caught, seizing, I hurled from the 
threshold of heaven till he reached the earth, hardly 

Although the words " of heaven " are supplied by 
the translator, the contrast required by the expres- 

1 Similar cases occur ; Iliad, i. 195, 208, compared with 221 ; v. 
868 with 869; xix. 351 with 355 ; xx. 5 with 10 ; Od., xi. 313 with 
316; xx. 31 with 55 ; also 103 with 113. It is astonishing that Faesi 
can say that the case in the text is the only one found in the 
Iliad. Odysee, Einleitung, p. xvii. 


sion "reached the earth" compels the supply in 
order to make good sense. 

In book first Hephaistos gives his own account of 
this same hurling out of heaven. He says, " Be 
patient, my mother, and although grieved restrain 
thyself, lest with my own eyes I behold thee beaten, 
being very dear to me ; nor then, though full of grief, 
should I be able to assist thee, for Olympian Zeus 
is difficult to be opposed. For upon a time before 
this, when I desired to assist thee, having seized me 
by the foot, he cast me down from the heavenly 
threshold (/fyAov fco-Treo-ioio). 1 The whole day was I 
hurled, and at the setting of the sun I fell on Lem- 
nos, and but little of life remained in me." 

Nothing can well be plainer than that this whole 
scene is conceived of as occurring high in the vault 
of heaven. To locate it on any " many-peaked 
mountain " every way embarrasses the imagination. 2 
Moreover, Lemnos is not situated under Thessa- 

1 " Heavenly threshold " is Buckley s rendering of this term, though 
he elsewhere distinguishes Olympos from heaven, as in note on book 
xvi. 364. In ancient cosmology the " door of heaven " was situated 
at the North Pole of the sky. Khandogya-Upanishad, xxiv. 3, 4, 7, 8, 
II, 12. Sacred Books of the East, vol. i., Pt. I., pp. 36, 37. For 
the rabbinical usage see Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, Bd. 
ii., p. 402. 

2 Thus Volcker, after reminding the reader that "there can be no 
doubt that the gods are here represented as on Olympos, and not 
where Hera hung eV aiOepi Kal vttyeXrjaiv" exclaims very naturally, 
"Where now is the end of the rope made fast ?" He immediately 
adds as his answer, " Ohne Zweifel irepl piov OV\VJU.TTOIO I Without 
doubt around the peak of Olympos ! " No wonder he places an ex 
clamation point after such a masterpiece of interpretation. Possibly 
the French savant, M. Boivin, who to explain Od. t vi. 40 ff., con 
tended that Homer conceived of Olympos as an inverted mountain, 
having its snowy top near the earth and its snowless and rainless 
toots in heaven, caught his idea from Volcker s exegesis of this pas* 
saee ! 


Han Olympos, nor could the word Kamrca-ov describe 
Hephaistos s motion in space from the one to the 
other. So irresistible, indeed, is the right inter 
pretation that Keightley, unconscious of his in 
consistency, elsewhere says, "The favorite haunt 
of Hephaistos on earth was the isle of Lemnos. 
It was here he fell when flung from heaven by 
Zeus for attempting to aid his mother Hera." l In 
like manner Professor Geddes, with a forgetfulness 
equally entertaining, writes of Zeus "hurling He 
phaistos over the celestial battlements" and of his 
being "able to draw gods and earth and sea aloft 
into the sky." 2 

The not less famous passage in the opening lines 
of book eighth is even more conclusive : " Whomso 
ever of the gods I shall discover, having gone apart 
from the rest, wishing to aid either the Trojans or 
the Greeks, disgracefully smitten shall he return to 
Olympos ; or, seizing, I will hurl him into gloomy 
Tartaros, very far hence, where there is a very deep 
gulf beneath the earth, and iron portals, and a 
brazen threshold, 3 as far below Hades as heaven is 
from earth ; then shall he know by how much I 
am the most powerful of all the gods. But come, 
ye gods, and try me, that ye may all know. Having 
suspended a golden chain from heaven, do all ye 
gods and goddesses suspend yourselves therefrom ; 
yet would ye not draw down from heaven to earth 
your supreme counselor Jove, not even if ye labor 
ever so much : but whenever I, desiring, should 

1 Mythology, p. 97. 

2 The Problem of the Homeric Poems, p. 133. 

3 Here is the Underworld door and threshold corresponding to the 
upper, north polar one from which Hephaistos was hurled down to 
earth. Compare also Hesiod s description. 


wish to pull it, I could draw it up together, earth, 
and ocean, and all ; then, indeed, would I bind the 
chain around the top of Olympos, and all these 
should hang aloft. By so much do I surpass both 
gods and men." 

Comment is unnecessary. Until the whole of a 
thing can be suspended upon and supported by a 
part of itself, no interpreter can make the top of 
Olympos in this passage signify the top of a moun 
tain in Thessaly. 1 

If any further evidence can be needed to show 
that no mountain of earth can meet the requirements 
of the language of the Iliad respecting Olympos, it 
is surely afforded in the passages already alluded to 
where suppliants, addressing the gods as " Olym 
pian," are said to stretch forth their hands toward 
"the starry heavens." An example of this is the 
following : " But the guardian of the Greeks, Ge- 
renian Nestor, most particularly prayed, stretching 
forth his hands to the starry heaven : O Father 
Zeus, if ever any one in fruitful Argos, to thee burn 
ing the fat thighs of either oxen or sheep, suppli 
cated that he might return, and thou didst promise 

1 The heroic manner in which Professor Geddes accepts this grave 
alternative and shifts his own embarrassment to the shoulders of the 
poet is somewhat discouraging to interpreters who have an inclina 
tion to find a rational meaning in their author. He says, " The 
manner in which this f>iov OvX-ufjuroio is referred to in a concrete form 
shows that it was not only a visible but [also a] commanding object 
in the poet s landscape ; so much so that it embarrasses his physical 
speculations and conceptions of the Cosmos [sic], since it is made the pin 
nacle on which the world of sea and land is to be suspended by the 
golden chain. The piov here, however, must le a part of the veritable 
mountain, not any idealized Olympos" (!) Win. I). Geddes, LL. D., 
The Problem of the Homeric Poems. London, 1878 : p. 257. This 
is as bad as the exclamatory arbitrariness of Volcker, on the same 
passage, Geog., n. 


and assent, be mindful of these things, O Olympian, 
and avert the cruel day. " 1 

Nor is the language of the Odyssey less opposed 
to the prevailing interpretation. Here Olympos is 
metaphorically spoken of precisely as we speak of 
heaven : " For Olympos hath given me grief " (iv. 
722). Again, in a memorable passage, it is de 
picted in terms which plainly belong to no sub 
lunary sphere: "Thus having spoken, blue -eyed 
Athene departed to Olympos, where they say is 
forever the firm seat of the gods ; it is neither shaken 
by the winds, nor is it ever bedewed by the shower, 
nor does the snow approach it ; but a most cloud 
less serenity is spread out, and white splendor runs 
over it, in which the blessed gods are delighted all 
their days. To this place Athene departed when 
she had admonished the damsel." 2 

In book xx. 30, Athene descends "from heaven" 
(ovpavoOw KaTafiao-a), while in line 55 her return is 
described as "to Olympos." So in line 103 Zeus 

GMT* aly\^vros OX^ifjnrov 
v\l/6dev e/c vffyewv, 

but in line 113 the same thundering is described as 

far 3 ovpavov affrepdevros. 

As in the Iliad, so in the Odyssey, suppliants ad 
dress their prayers toward " the starry heaven ; " 3 

1 Book xv. 371, 375. Comp. x. 461 ; iii. 364 ; vii. 178, 201 ; viii. 
365 ; xvi. 232; xix. 257 ; xxi. 272 ; xxiv. 307, etc. 

2 Book vi. 40. On p. 65 of his Mythology, Keightley quotes this 
passage as apparently somewhat inconsistent with his view, but 
nevertheless renews his assertion that " the Greeks of the early ages 
regarded the lofty Thessalian mountain named Olympos as the dwell 
ing of their gods." Compare Volcker : " In nearly all poets such 
contradictions are found." Geog., p. 6. 

8 Odyssey, ix. 527, and elsewhere. 


and the gods who possess Olympos are called v- 
pdpTvpoi, or the " witnesses on high." 1 

So unmistakable is this language and the entire 
usage of the Odyssey that various recent writers, 
not emancipated from the traditional view as re 
spects the Iliad, have yet perceived and admitted 
the identity of "OA.V/XTTOS and the upper ov/mvos in the 
former work. Among German scholars, Faesi 2 and 
Ihne 3 have expressed themselves in this sense, and 
prominent among the Scotch, Professor Geddes. 4 
The latter says, " There is nothing in the Odyssey 
which obliges us to think of Mount Olympos." Tes 
timony from such a quarter is of course all the more 

In Homeric thought, then, the abode of the gods 
was where we should antecedently expect to find it, 
namely, in the heights of heaven. Considered with 
reference to the august sovereign of gods and men, 

1 Odyssey, xiv. 393, 4. 

2 Note on Iliad, i. 420, and in Einleitung to the Odyssey, p. xvii. 

3 Smith s Dictionary of Biography, Art. " Homer," p. 510. 

4 Op. cit., 155, 156, pp. 260-263. Professor Geddes elaborate 
argument to prove that " the Olympos of the Achilleid " is " a veri 
table mountain, and that in Thessaly " is entirely inconclusive. The 
use of a.y<ivvi(pos no more necessitates a literal interpretation than 
does a poet s application of the term " snowy " to a living bosom, or 
"fleecy" to the clouds. So iroXuirruxos proves nothing at all to his 
purpose, since Euripides never having read the Professor s instruc 
tive statement, " The epithet TTOXVTTTVXOS, applicable only to mountains, 
is a sufficient barrier to prevent the identification with ovpav6s " ap 
plies it again and again to many-strata-ed Ouranos. Even the Profes 
sor s one only evidence not by his own concession merely "presump 
tive," to wit, the "great simile" of the Iliad, book xvi. 364, tells 
against rather than for him, for the oir OV\V/J.TTOV veQos cannot pos 
sibly come alQepos e/c Sirjs into the atmospheric ovpav bv where clouds 
move, unless Olympos be where the divine ether is, high above the 
atmospheric heavens. Volckers treatment of the passage is so ab 
surd that Geddes does not even attempt to follow it. Horn. 



the polar sky-arch was a palace, the royal residence, 
the Sw/xa or So/xos of Zeus. 1 Viewed with reference 
to its tints, steel-blue and gold, it was described as 
metallic, o-t8^peos, x^A/ceos and TroA^aXKo?, terms which 
metallic interpreters like Voss and Buchholz and 
Bunbury have pushed to absolute literalness. 2 Con 
ceived of as an ethereal height, it was pictured as 
a heaven - high mount, " snowy " as its own white 
clouds. Then to the climbing imagination, mount 
ing height above height in the vain attempt to reach 
the summit, the mountain became alms (II., v. 367, 
869 ; xv. 84) ; /xa/cpos (II., i. 402, and in ten other pas 
sages) ; TroAuoapas (II., i. 499 ; v. 754 ; viii. 3) ; and 
TroAvTrrvxos (II., viii. 411 ; xx. 5). This last descrip 
tion, " the Olympos of many layers, or thicknesses" 
is peculiarly expressive. Instead of signifying the 
"ridges" of a mountain or range of mountains, as 
Geddes and so many before him have affirmed, it 

1 The house of Hephaistos in Olympos is plainly styled " starry." 
Iliad, xviii. 370, comp. with 146, 148. Moreover, Aristotle, or who 
ever wrote the " Letter of Aristotle to Alexander on the System of 
the World," in one passage expressly identifies Ouranos and Olympos, 
saying that for diverse etymological reasons we call the outermost cir 
cumference of heaven by both names. See Flammarion, Astronomical 
Myths, or History of the Heavens, p. 156. Even Volcker, in first lay 
ing down the thesis which has so misled all his successors ("dass 
Uranus und Olympus nie als synonym bei Homer gebraucht wer- 
den "), frankly confesses that this is " gegen die bisher allgemein 
gehegte Meinung ; " that is, " contrary to the opinion hitherto gen 
erally held." Homerische Geog., p. 4. With gods of Homeric size, 
a single one of whom required seven acres for his couch, the idea of 
placing the whole Olympian Court and Gotterleben on the sharp, nar 
row, clearly visible peak in Thessaly is ridiculous. 

2 Buchholz (Horn. Realien, Bd. i. i, p. 3) declares the metaphorical 
interpretation " zu gekiinstelt" for those early times, and roundly as 
serts that, " according to the idea of the Homeric Greek, heaven is 
tine metallene Hohlkugel."" He should have added that to the same 
infantile mind Aphrodite was a solid gold image (Odyssey, viii. 337)1 
and the voice of Achilles (Iliad, xviii. 222) a brass projectile. 


pictures that world-old conception of a firmament, 
not single-storied, but with heaven above heaven, 
to the "third," or the "seventh," or the " ninth." 
These heavens were conceived of by Homer him 
self as in layers one above another, like the curved 
lamincs (TTTVXO.I) of a shield. 1 And what adds to the 
fitness of the comparison and to the fitness of the 
cosmic adornment of Achilles shield is the fact that 
to the omphalos of a shield there corresponded the 
central and ever-abiding Omphalos of the Skies. 

5. Finally, our larger and more rational interpre 
tation of Homeric ideas beautifully explains " the 
tall Pillars of Atlas," and solves the multiform per 
plexities of the ruling authorities on this question. 

In approaching the study of this subject several 
questions occur to every thoughtful beginner, the 
answers to which he can nowhere find. For in 
stance : How can Homer speak of the Pillars of 
Atlas, using the plural, when elsewhere in the early 
Greek mythology the representations always point 
to only one ? Again, if there is but one, and that 
in the West, near the Gardens of the Hesperides, 2 
what corresponding supports sustain the sky in the 
East, the North, and the South ? Or, if Atlas s Pillar 

1 See Homer s own rplirrvxos, //., xi. 353, in just this sense. Com 
pare the marvelous description in Plato s Republic, 616. Depuis had 
caught the right idea when he penned the words, "POlympe, compost 
de plusieurs couches sphtriques." Origine de Tous les Cults, torn, i., p. 
273. So a recognition of the fact that the nine subterranean, or south 
polar, Mictlans, or abodes of the dead, of the Aztecs were simply 
the counterparts of their nine celestial, or north polar, Tlalocans, or 
heavens, instantaneously clears up the long-standing difficulties of the 
interpreters of that mythology. See Bancroft, Native Races, vol. iii., 

PP- 532-537- 

2 Hesiod, Theogony, 517. Atlas pflegt immer mit den Hespencien 
genannt zu werden. Preller, Griechische Mythologie, vol. i., p. 348. 


is only one of many similar ones supporting heaven 
around its whole periphery, how came it to be so 
much more famous than the rest ? Or, if Homer s 
plural indicates that all of them belonged to Atlas, 
how came the idea of one Pillar to be so universally 
prevalent ? If the support of heaven was at many 
points, and at its outermost rim, how could Hesiod 
venture to represent the whole vault as poised on 
Atlas s head and hands ? l Again, if it is the special 
function of Atlas, or of his Pillar, to stand on the 
solid earth and hold up the sky, he would appear to 
have no special connection with the sea : why, then 9 
should Homer introduce the strange statement that 
Atlas " knows all the depths of the sea " ? This 
certainly seems very mysterious. Again, if the office 
of the Pillar or Pillars is to prop up the sky, they 
of course sustain different relations to earth and 
heaven. They bear up the one, and are themselves 
borne up by the other. Yet, singularly enough, Ho 
mer s locus classicus places them in exactly the same 
relation to the two. 2 Worse than this, Pausanias 
unqualifiedly and repeatedly asserts that, according 
to the myth, Atlas supports upon his shoulders 
" both earth and heaven." 3 And with this corre- 

1 Theogony, 747. Moreover, how could one limited being have 
charge of so many and so widely separated pillars ? " It can scarcely 
be doubted that the words a/x^is exoutnv, Odyssey, i. 54, do not mean 
that these columns surround the earth, for in this case they must be 
not only many in number, but it would be obvious to the men of a 
myth-making and myth-speaking age that a being stationed in one 
spot could not keep up, or hold, or guard, a number of pillars sur 
rounding either a square or a circular earth." Cox, Mythology of the 
Aryan Nations. London, 1870 : vol. i., p. 37 n. 

2 " For that both heaven and earth are meant, not heaven alone, 
is proved by various poetic passages, and by other testimonies." 
Preller, Griechische Mythologie, vol. i., p. 348. 

* Book v. n, 2; 18, i. One interpreter makes the profound sug* 


spends the language of ^Eschylus. 1 But what sort 
of a poetic imagination is this which represents a 
mighty column as upholding not only a vast super 
incumbent weight, but also, and at the same time, 
its own pedestal ? Is this a specimen creation of 
that immortal Hellenic genius, which the whole mod 
ern world is taught almost to adore ? 

Turning to the authorities in textual and myth 
ological interpretation, our beginner finds no help. 
On the contrary, their wild guesses and mutual 
contradictions only confuse him more and more. 
Volck,er tells him, with all the assuring emphasis of 
leaded type, that " in Atlas is given a personification 
of the art of navigation, the conquest of the sea by 
means of human skill, by commerce, and the gains of 
commerce." 2 Preller instructs him to reject this 
view, and to think of this mysterious son of lapetos 
as a " sea-giant representing the upbearing and sup 
porting almightiness of the ocean in contrast with 
the earth-shattering might of Poseidon." 3 The clas 
sical dictionaries only perplex him with multitudi 
nous puerilities invented by ignorant Euhemeristic 
scholiasts, stories to the effect that the original 
Atlas was merely the astronomer who first con 
structed an artificial globe to represent the sky ; or 
that he was a Northwest African, who, having as 
cended a lofty promontory the better to observe the 
heavenly bodies, fell off into the sea, and so gave 

gestion that in Homer s passage the yriv is " added by a zeugma " ! 
Merry and Riddell, Odyssey, i. 53. 

1 Prometheus Sound, 349, 425 seq. 

2 Mythologie des Japetischen Geschlechts, p. 49 scq. Followed by 
K. O. Miiller, Keightley, Anthon, and many others. 

3 Griechische Mythologie, vol. i., pp. 32, 348. Followed by Faesi 
and called by Professor Packard " the usually accepted." 


name both to the mountain and to the Atlantic 
Ocean. Schoemann does not profess a positive and 
certain understanding of the matter, but suggests 
that the mysterious Titan was in all probability 
"originally a gigantic mountain-god" of some sort. 1 

Bryant at first makes Atlas a mountain support 
ing a temple or temple-cave, called Co-el, house of 
God, whence "the Coelus of the Romans," vol. L, 
p. 274. In the next volume, however, he says that 
" under the name of Atlas is meant the Atlantians." 
And quoting the Odyssey, he translates thus : " They 
[the Atlantians] had also long Pillars, or obelisks, 
which referred to the sea, and upon which was deline 
ated the whole system both of heaven and earth ; d/x^is, 
all aroiuid, both on the front of the obelisk and on the 
other sides . 2 

If our investigator asks, as did an ancient gram 
marian, how Atlas could stand on the earth and 
support heaven on his head, if heaven was so far 
removed that an anvil would require nine days and 
nights in which to fall through the distance, Paley 
kindly explains that " the poet s notion doubtless 
was that Atlas held up the sky near its junction 
with earth in the far West." 3 In this case, of course, 
a reasonably short giant would answer the purpose. 
If, after all his consultations of authorities, our youth 
is still unsatisfied, and to make a last effort for light 
turns to the illustrious Welcker, he learns as an im- 

1 G. F. Schoemann, Die hesiodische Theogonie ausgelegt. Berlin, 
1868 : p. 207. 

2 Analysis of Ancient Mythology. London, 1807: vol. ii., 91. 

8 The Epics of Hesiod, p. 229. On the other hand, another English 
interpreter would give us a giant with shoulders as broad as the whole 
heaven, and translate &/*</>}$ flgewu " which support at either side; 
t. e., at the East and West." Merry and Riddell, Odyssey, i. 53. 


portant final lesson that when an ancient author 
says "heaven and earth," it is not for a moment to 
be supposed that he literally means " heaven and 
earth," and that, if they had remembered this, wri 
ters on mythology would have spared themselves " a 
vast amount of brain -racking and ineffectual pro- 
&K&-contra pleading." 1 With this as the sole out 
come of all his researches, may not a beginner well 
despair of ever getting any knowledge of the mean 
ing of the myth, if, indeed, he can still imagine it 
to have had a meaning ? 

Here, as everywhere, the truth at once explains 
and removes all the difficulties which a false and 
groundless presupposition has created. 

Once conceive of the Homeric world as we have 
reconstructed it, and how clear and beautiful the 
conception of the Pillars of Atlas becomes ! They 
are simply the upright axes of earth and heaven. 
Viewed in their relation to earth and heaven respec 
tively, they are two ; but viewed in reference to the 
universe as an undivided whole, they are one and the 
same. Being coincident, they are truly one, and yet 
they are ideally separable. Hence singular or plural 
designations are equally correct and equally fitting. 
Transpiercing the globe at the very " navel or centre 
of the sea," Atlas s Pillar penetrates far deeper than 
any recess of the waters bed, and he may well be 
said to "know the depths of the whole sea." Or 
this statement may have reference to that primordial 

1 " Viel Kopfbrechens und vergeblichen Hin-und Herredens hat 
der Ausdruck des Pausanias gemacht eVi TWJ/ &p.<av KO.TCI TO \y6/uva 
ovpavdv re dWx*i fol rfv* der auch bei dem Gemalde von Pananos 
(5, ii, 2) wiederkehrt : ovpavbv Kal yrjv <W%ajj/ TrapeVrTj/ce, indem man 
ovpavbv Kal yr)v buchstablich verstehen zu miissen glaubte." Gr. 
Gotterlehre, vol. i., pp. 746, 747. 


sea in which his Pillar was standing when the geo- 
gonic and cosmogonic process began. In this sense 
how appropriate and significant would it have been 
if applied to Izanagi ! 1 

Again, the association of Atlas with the Gardens 
of the Hesperides, so far from disproving our inter 
pretation, actually affords new confirmation, since 
^Eschylus, Pherecydes, and the oldest traditions 
locate the Hesperides themselves, not in the West, 
but in the extreme North, beyond the Rhiphaean 
Mountains, in the vicinity of the Hyperboreans. 2 
In fact, there are very strong reasons for believing 
that these Gardens of the Hesperides were nothing 
other than the starry gardens of the circumpolar 
sky ; that therefore the Hesperides were called 
the " Daughters of Night," and that the great ser- 

1 Compare the Vedic statement, " He who knows the Golden Reed 
standing in the waters is the mysterious Prajapati." Muir, Sanskrit 
Texts, vol. iv., p. 21. Garrett, Classical Dictionary of India, Art. 
" Skambha." Still another explanation is suggested by the Rig-Veda, 
x. 149 : " Savitri has established the earth by supports ; Savitri has 
fixed the sky in unsupported space ; Savitri, the son of the waters, 
knows the place where the ocean supported issued forth." Muir, 
Sanskrit Texts, vol. iv., p. no (comp. Ludwig s German version). Ac 
cording to this, he would be conceived of as knowing the depths of 
the whole ocean, because its celestial springs are about his head, and 
its lowest depths at his feet. Since the foregoing was first printed 
the author has met with the remarkable diagram, published four hun 
dred years ago in the Magarita Philosophica, in which Atlas is repre 
sented as a venerable man, with his feet at the inferior and his head 
at the superior Pole of the heavens, precisely according to our inter 
pretation. A reproduction of it can be seen in Flammarion, Astro 
nomical Myths, p. 150. See, moreover, Aristophanes, Aves, 180 foil., 
for the significant etymology of ir6\os. 

2 Preller, Griechische My .hologie, vol. ii., p. 149. Volcker, Mytholo- 
gisc/ie Geographic, pp. 133 seq. Wolfgang Menzel, Die vorchristliche 
Unsterblichkeitslehre, vol. i., p. 98. On "/a Colonne dite Bortale," 
spoken of by a Greek geographer B. c. 275, see Beauvais, Revue de 
VHistoirc des Religions. Paris, 1883 : p. 711 n. Comp. p. 700. 


pent which assisted the nymphs in watching " the 
golden apples " was none other than the constella 
tion Draco, whose brilliant constituent Alpha, the 
astronomer s Thuban, was, less than fifty centuries 
ago, the Pole-star of our heaven. 1 

Once more, our interpretation perfectly harmo 
nizes the passages which represent Atlas as a heaven- 
supporter with those which represent him as equally 
supporting earth. More than this, it reveals the cu 
rious fact that Homer s description of the tall Pillars 
of Atlas identifies them with the axes of earth and 
heaven so unmistakably that, in order to blunder 
into the common mistranslation of it, it was first 
necessary to invent, and get the lexicographers to 
adopt, a span-new special meaning for the words 
d/x,<is ex U/ > a meaning necessitated by no other pas 
sage in the whole body of Homeric Greek. Homer s 
beautifully explicit language is, 

e%ei Se re Kiovas avrbs 
fiaKpds, a? ycudv re nal ovpa.v bv a.p.<p\s ex ovffiv 

"Who, of his own right, possesses the tall Pillars 
which have around them earth and heaven." 2 No 
where in Homeric, if indeed in any ancient Greek, 
does the expression mean "to prop asunder" 3 

Finally, as to the supposed difficulty of imagining 
a heaven-upholder so tall that it would take a brazen 
anvil nine days and nights to fall from his head to 
his feet, if Professor Paley had remembered San- 
dalfon, the Talmudic Atlas, he would hardly have 

1 Gustav Schlegel, Uranographie Chinoise. La Haye, 1875 : PP 
506, 507, 685. 

2 Compare Odyssey, xv. 184. 

3 Buttmann (Lexilogus, English translation, 5th ed., pp. 94-104) is 
no more successful in showing such a meaning than are the older dic 


thought it necessary to locate the Hesiodic one on 
the edge of the earth where the sky is low. Of San- 
dalfon, Rabbi Eliezer has said, " There is an angel 
who standeth on earth, and reacheth with his head 
to the door of heaven. It is taught in the Mishna 
that he is called Sandalfon ; he exceedeth his com 
panions as much in height as one can walk in five 
hundred years, and that he stands behind the chariot 
[Charles s Wain] and twisteth or bindeth the gar 
lands for his Creator." 1 

Atlas s Pillar, then, is the axis of the world. It is 
the same Pillar apostrophized in the Egyptian docu 
ment known as the great Harris Magic Papyrus, in 
these unmistakable words : " O long Column, which 
commences in the upper and in the lower heav 
ens!" 2 It is, with scarce a doubt, what the same 
ancient people in their Book of the Dead so happily 
styled "the Spine of the Earth." 3 It is the Rig- 
Veda s vieltragende Achse des unaufhaltsam sick 
drelienden, nie alternden, nie morscliwerdenden, durch 
den Lauf der Zeiten nicht abgenutzten Weltrads, auf 
ivelchem ALLE WESEN STEHEN. 4 It is the Umbrella- 
staff of Burmese cosmology, the Churning-stick of 
India s gods and demons. It is the Trunk of every 
cosmical Tree. 5 It is the shadowless Lance of Alex- 

1 Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, Bd. ii., p. 402 (Eng., vol. ii., 
p. 97). In all ancient cosmologies " the door of heaven " is at the 
North Pole. Sacred Books of the East, vol. i., pp. 36, 37. 

2 Records of the Past, vol. x., p. 152. Other references to the 
Heaven-supporting Pillar may be seen in Brugsch, Thesaurus In- 
scriptionum ALgyptiacarum, 1.82,83, 87, 177 et passim. Comp. fig. 
opposite p. 175, and fig. No. 12, p. 124. 

3 Chap, cxlii. 

4 Rig Veda, i. 164. Grassmann and Ludwig. 

6 Ludwig, in his version of the Veda, finds repeated occasion for 
the use of the expression " Stengel der Welt: 1 


ander ; the tortoise-piercing (earth-piercing) Arrow 
of the Mongolian heaven-god ; the Spear of Izanagi ; 
the Hacha de Cobre on which the heavens of the 
Miztecs rested. 1 It is the Cord which the ancient 
Vedic bard saw stretched from one side of the uni 
verse to the other. 2 Is it not the Psalmist s "Line" 
of the heavens which " is gone out through " the 
very " earth " and on "to the end of the world "? 
It is the Irminsul of the Germans, as expressly rec 
ognized by Grimm. It is the Tower of Kronos. It 
is Plato s Spindle of Necessity. It is the Azacol of 
the North African Sunis. It is the Ladder with 
seven lamps in the rites of Mithra. It is the Tal- 
mudic Pillar which connects the Paradise celestial 
and the Paradise terrestrial. 

In the foregoing discussions of Homeric cosmol 
ogy we have had a sufficient exhibition of the cause 
and cure of current malpractice shall we call it? 
on the part of interpreters of Homeric poetry. 
Their baseless assumptions and blunders have been 
renewed and multiplied in nearly every field of ar 
chaeology, Assyrian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Persian, 
Indian. Whithersoever "modern research" has gone 
it has carried with it, as a kind of first principle and 
rule of interpretation, the assumption that the early 
nations cannot possibly have known anything about 
the world, beyond what undeveloped tribes and peo- 

1 F. Gregorio Garcia, Origen de los Indios del Nuevo Mundo. 
Madrid, 1729: p. 337. Here, the "pole-axe" of ignorance has sup 
planted the pole-axis of ancient science. Bancroft, Native Races, vol, 
iii., p. 71. Compare the " Golden Splinter" of Manco Capac. Re- 
rille, Hibbert Lectures, 1884 : p. 131. 

2 Rig Veda, x. 129, 5. 


pies would of necessity observe within their own con 
tracted boundaries. The inconsistencies of igno 
rance and of half-knowledge and of an undisciplined, 
" child-like " imagination are therefore to be ex 
pected at every step. Even the squarest contradic 
tions must not surprise. Indeed, in respect to Ho 
mer, the learned Sengebusch has actually formulated 
the universal proposition that the results of investi 
gations in different departments of Homeric study 
"will always be found to contradict each other." 1 
In view of the accepted modern results of investi 
gation into Homer s cosmology one is tempted to 
justify the proposition, only qualifying it in a mild 
degree, as follows : The results of all Homeric inves 
tigations based upon the assumption that Homer 
was too "primitive" a man to know where the sun 
sets will always be found self-contradictory. 

Against all such barbarizing misinterpretation of 
ancient literature it is high time that a protest 
should be heard. Long enough has the beauty and 
the breadth of ancient thought, in poetry and myth 
and even in word-building, been obscured and hid 
den by this conceited assumption of the modern 
teacher. It was bad enough when the old gramma 
rians, assuming that Homer could have had no idea 
of other than the nearest waters, mutilated the 
grand proportions of the Odyssey to fit the voyag- 
ings of its hero into the western basin of the Med 
iterranean, or, worse yet, into the Euxine. 2 But 
this, after all, was an altogether pardonable offense 

1 Hoffmann, Homerische Untersuchungen, vol. i., p. 30. 

2 Mr. W. J. Stillman, in the The Century Magazine for 1884, has 
just resketched in this antiquated fashion " The Track of Ulysses," 
confessing, however, that for his location of the all-decisive Ogygia 
" there is no evidence : " pp. 562, 563. See his map. 


compared with the currently accepted procedure of 
scholars, who, brought up apparently on magazines 
of popular science, and imagining that Columbus 
was the first man to whom the idea ever occurred 
that the earth is round, approach the study of antiq 
uity merely as the study of an older department of 
barbarian folk-lore. Surely it is time to investigate 
the great creations of ancient mind in a different 
spirit. 1 It is nothing short of deplorable to consider 
the mass of senseless argument and false explana 
tion annually crowded into the memories of succes 
sive classes of academic and collegiate youth, ar 
guments and explanations which neither to teacher 
nor taught have even the poor merit of intelligently 
illustrating the evils of wrong principles of classical 
hermeneutics. The discussions and results of the 
present treatise have at least disclosed a conceivable 
beginning of human history, according to which the 
early generations of men can hardly have failed to 
acquire that knowledge of the mechanism of the 
heavens which all the oldest traditions of the race 
ascribe to them. 2 And if, in consequence of the 

1 " Je tiefer Dr. Schliemann bei Troja grub, desto hohere Cultur 
liess sich aus den Funden erschliessen ; so konnen auch wir sagen, je 
alter die Nachrichten sich zeigen, desto grossere Bildung der Vorfah- 
ren verrathen sie." Anton Krichenbauer, Beilrage zur homerischen 
Uranographie , Wien, 1874, p. 13. Comp. 68, 69 et passim. The 
statement has reference to astronomical science among the earliest 

2 " Among the Jews there are traditions of a very high antiquity 
for their astronomy. Josephus says : God prolonged the life of the 
patriarchs that preceded the Deluge, both on account of their virtues 
and to give them the opportunity of perfecting the sciences of geom 
etry and astronomy, which they had discovered ; which they could 
not have done if they had not lived 600 years, because it is only after 
the lapse of 600 years that the great year is accomplished. 

" Now, what is this great year or cycle of 600 years ? M. Cassini, 


acceptance or even the discussion of the proffered 
results, the eyes of scholars shall at last once more 
be directed to the study of the great literary and 
other art-works of ancient mind in a new and more 
modest spirit, the gains which are sure to accrue 
therefrom will be neither few nor small. 

the director of the Observatory of Paris, has discussed it astronom 
ically. He considers it as a testimony of the high antiquity of their as 
tronomy. This period, he says, is one of the most remarkable that 
have been discovered ; for if we take the lunar month to be 29 days, 
12 h. 44 m. 3., we find that 219,146^ days make 7,421 lunar months, and 
that this number of days gives 600 solar years of 365 days, 5 h. 51 m. 
36 s/ If this year was in use before the Deluge, it appears very proba 
ble, it must be confessed, that the patriarchs were already acquainted 
to a considerable degree of accuracy with the motions of the stars, for 
this lunar month agrees to a second, almost, with that which has been 
determined by modem astronomers." Flammarion, Astronomical 
Myths. Paris, p. 26. 



The more I search into the ancient history of the world, the more I am convinced 
that the cultivated nations commenced with a purer -worship of the Supreme Be 
ing ; that the magic influence of Nature upon the imaginations of the hitman race 
afterward produced polytheism, and at length entirely obscured spiritual concep 
tions of religion in the belief of the people . A. W. VON SCHLEGEL. 

La pretendue evolution de la vie sauvage, telle que la dtcrit Vecole naturaliste 
en la considerant comme le premier degre du developpement de I" 1 humanity a deux 
grands defauts : elle part de trop bas, et elle s^eleve trap haut ; car il lui est im 
possible d^expliquer les pr ogres qu elle constate dans rhumanite, une fois qu elle 
la fait debuter par la bestialite complete. E. DE PRESSENS& 

THERE is another class of investigations of re 
markable present interest, investigations lying 
partly in the anthropological and partly in the 
theological field of research, on which the discus 
sions and results of the present treatise have a most 
important bearing. They are the questions which 
relate to the Origin, the Primordial Form, and the 
true History of Religion. 

Such light is greatly needed at the present time. 
As we have seen, all the most ancient traditions of 
the race represent mankind as having commenced 
existence in a divine fellowship, and as having lost 
this holy and blessed estate only through sin. This 
view of the Origin of Religion has prevailed from 
the beginning of traceable history among all nations 
of the earth, varying only to such slight extent as 
would permit polytheistic peoples to conceive of the 


primeval divine fellowship polytheistically, and the 
monotheistic peoples monotheistically. To a mono- 
theist it is significant that several of the ancient 
nations, representing widely differing races, as for 
example the Egyptians, the Persians, and the Chi 
nese, seem to have been more monotheistic in their 
earliest traceable conceptions of religion than in 
their later and latest creed and practice. But with 
out dwelling upon this, it may be stated as a broad 
and impressive fact that, with the exception of a few 
speculative authors, nearly all of whom have lived 
since the middle of the last century, the solid tra 
ditional belief of the whole human family in every 
age of the world has been that man began his exist 
ence pure and sinless, and in conscious and intelli 
gent divine communion. 1 This is the pan-ethnic 
no less than the Biblical doctrine of the Origin and 
First Form of Religion among men. 

It was remarked a moment ago that at the pres 
ent time new light is greatly needed on this ques 
tion. The need is special for the reason that for 
about a hundred years past certain speculative 
minds, oblivious of the early history of mankind, ig 
noring the sacred books of all nations, despising the 
consentaneous convictions of all peoples, and more 
or less ridiculing the very idea on which religion 
itself is based, namely, the idea of the existence 
and action of extra-human and super-human per 
sonalities, have undertaken to set aside the view 
which we have above described as the pan-ethnic 
doctrine of the Origin of Religion, and to substitute 

1 Compare Lenormant, Beginnings of History, ch. ii. The Duke 
of Argyll s Unity of Nature. London, 1884 : chapters xi., xii., and 


for it some other explanation,- so framed as to make 
it appear that religion originated from man himself, 
apart from any divine manifestation, or teaching, or 
impulse whatsoever. The result has been a succes 
sion of crude speculations, inadequate in their prem 
ises and contradictory in their respective conclu 
sions. Professing unusual philosophic candor, aided 
by the interest which always attends novel attempts 
to set aside the beliefs of ages ; adapting themselves 
to every class of readers, and especially to all the suc 
cessively ruling fashions in non-religious and irrelig 
ious current speculation, these writers have at last 
not only wrought a perfect confusion in this portion 
of the Philosophy of Religion, but have furthermore 
so degraded and bestialized their readers concep 
tion of primitive humanity, and so outraged all prob 
ability in their descriptions of primitive savagery, 
that even from biological and sociological sides a 
strong reaction has already set in. 

It will be instructive briefly to review the history 
of these speculations, and to note the successive 
stages of ever-deepening error and the mutual con 
tradiction of their much-admired results. 

The first of them of any note was David Hume, 
the English deist and champion of philosophic doubt. 
In his " Natural History of Religion " (published in 
1755), he lays down this as his first and fundamen 
tal proposition : " Polytheism was the primary re 
ligion of mankind." 

His first argument in support of this thesis is an 
appeal to the evidence of post-christian history. He 
puts it thus : - 

" It is a matter of fact, incontestable, that about 
1700 years ago all mankind were polytheists. The 


doubtful and skeptical principles of a few philoso 
phers, or the theism and that not entirely too pure 
of one or two nations, form no objection worth re 
garding. Behold, then, the clear testimony of history. 
The farther we mount into antiquity the more do we 
find mankind plunged into polytheism. No marks, no 
symptoms, of any more perfect religion. The most 
ancient records of the human race still present us 
with that system as the popular and established 
creed. The North, the South, the East, the West, 
give their unanimous testimony to the same fact. 
What can be opposed to so full an evidence ? " 

The force of this passage consists almost ex 
clusively in its cool positiveness of dogmatic asser 
tion. Plainly, the condition of the majority of man 
kind 1700 years ago affords no just criterion by 
which to judge of the condition of the race thou 
sands of years before that. Indeed, to any believer 
in historic evolution of any sort, it would seem an 
tecedently certain that the condition of men several 
thousand years after the commencement of their ex 
istence must be very different indeed from their 
primitive condition. But, furthermore, he grants 
that 1700 years ago the prevalence of polytheism 
was, after all, not universal ; there were " one or 
two nations " of theists, and even philosophers in 
other nations, who doubted the truth of polytheism. 
It was absurd, therefore, to talk of " the unanimous 
testimony " of North and South, East and West. 

The second point urged by Hume is the improb 
ability of the supposition that " a barbarous, ne 
cessitous animal, such as man is, on the first origin 
of society," a being " pressed by such numerous 
wants and passions," should have had either the 


disposition, or the capacity, or the leisure, so to 
study "the order and frame of the universe " as im 
mediately to be led " into the pure principles of 
theism." He grants that a careful and philosophic 
consideration of the unity and order of the natu 
ral world is sufficient to conduct one to an assured 
belief in the being of one Supreme and Almighty 
Creator, but he says, " I can never think that this 
consideration could have an influence on mankind 
when they formed their first rude notions of re 
ligion." Assuming that the first men must nec 
essarily have been " an ignorant multitude," he 

" It seems certain that, according to the natural 
progress of human thought, the ignorant multitude 
must first entertain some groveling and familiar 
notion of superior powers before they stretch their 
conception to that perfect Being who bestowed order 
on the whole frame of nature/ 

The force of this argument it is difficult to see. 
It all rests upon two assumptions: first, the assump 
tion that the first men were the lowest barbarians, 
to use his own words, " barbarous, necessitous an 
imals ; " and, secondly, the assumption that there 
was, apart from the philosophic study of nature, no 
other way in which they could have obtained a belief 
in the existence of the Creator. As no religionist of 
any age has ever admitted these assumptions, and 
as Hume adduces no particle of proof for either of 
them, this part of his argument is surely quite un 
worthy of a professed philosopher. 

His next and last point is the impossibility of the 
loss of the monotheistic faith if it had once been 
reached by the earliest men. He says, 


"If men were at first led into the belief of one 
superior Being by reason-ing from the frame of na 
ture, they could never possibly leave [have left] that 
belief in order to embrace polytheism ; but the same 
principles of reason which at first produced and dif 
fused over mankind so magnificent an opinion must 
be [have been] able, with greater facility, to pre 
serve it. The first invention and proof of any doc 
trine is much more difficult than the supporting and 
retaining of it." 

Here our author appears to even poorer advan 
tage than in either of his former arguments. In 
the first place, as before, he ignores the possibility 
of supposing a knowledge of God by means of a di 
vine self-manifestation, thus covertly misrepresent 
ing or evading the only point in debate. In the sec 
ond place, the assertion that if the first men had 
attained to a pure theism they never could have left 
it and become polytheists should be compared with 
his own later assertions in Section viii. of the same 
treatise, where he describes what he himself calls 
the "Flux and Reflux of Polytheism and Theism." 
This section opens thus : 

" It is remarkable that the principles of religion 
have a kind of flux and reflux in the human mind, 
and that men have a natural tendency to rise from 
idolatry to theism, and to sink again from theism 
into idolatry." 

The author then states his well-known theory of 
the origin of polytheism as the first form of religion, 
and his theory of the rise of monotheism out of 
polytheism. But when a people have thus reached 
a belief in a God possessed of "the attributes of 
unity and affinity, simplicity and spirituality," there 


comes so he declares a natural relapse into 
polytheism. The explanation of this is given in 
these words : 

" Such refined ideas [as those of pure monothe 
ism], being somewhat disproportioned to vulgar com 
prehension, remain not long in their original purity, 
but require to be supported by the notion of inferior 
mediators or subordinate agents, which interpose 
between mankind and their supreme deity. These 
demi-gods, or middle beings, partaking more of hu 
man nature, and being more familiar to us, become 
the chief objects of devotion. . . . But as these 
idolatrous religions fall every day into grosser and 
more vulgar corruptions, they at last destroy them 
selves, and by the vile representations which they 
form of their duties make the tide turn again toward 

Thus monotheism and polytheism are, to Hume, 
two opposites, between which the human mind for 
ever oscillates. This being so, it is plain that this 
oscillation is grounded in reason, or it is not. If it 
is grounded in reason, then primitive men may have 
reasoned their way into monotheism as their first 
religious faith, and still have relapsed into polythe 
ism as the natural and rational reaction. On the 
other hand, if the oscillation is not grounded in rea 
son, then, as by his own account all later religious 
states of mankind have been unreasonable, the first 
may have been altogether different from what Hume 
would have considered rational ; that is, may have 
been a state of pure monotheism. 

Such was Hume s attempted demonstration of 
the primitiveness of polytheism, and the whole 
of it. 


Five years later, in 1760, De Brosses, one of Vol 
taire s correspondents, published his crude but note 
worthy book on " The Worship of Fetiches ; or, 
Parallel of the Ancient Religion of Egypt with the 
Present Religion of Nigritia." This was the writer 
who first gave currency to the word " fetichism," 
and who first postulated it as the invariable ante 
cedent of polytheism. De Brosses, however, was a 
professed believer in primeval divine revelation, and 
he made the Hebrews an exception to his general 
claim that all ancient nations began with fetichism, 
rose thence to polytheism, and tended thence to 
ward monotheism. In the early part of the present 
century, however, Auguste Comte, ignoring any pri 
meval revelation, elevated De Brosses generaliza 
tion into an absolute law of historic development. 
He gave the greater plausibility and influence to it 
by representing this law of theological progress as 
only part of a yet broader social law, according to 
which humanity, having traversed this " theological 
stage " in the manner indicated, passes next through 
a "metaphysical" one, and finally attains the "sci 
entific " stage of atheistic positivism. 

In Germany, in 1795, Hume s opinion found an 
able representative in G. L. Bauer, of Altdorf, and 
ten years later we see Meiners, in his " Universal 
History of Religion," repeating and enforcing the 
notion of the absolute primitiveness of fetichism. 
The rationalistic and pantheistic tendencies of Ger 
man speculation about this time were, of course, 
favorable to any new theory which discredited the 
Biblical one, and thus it came to pass that before 
the middle of the present century the De Brosses 
theory, in its completer Comtean form, became al- 


most universally adopted. Speaking of its preva 
lence, Professor Max Miiller says: 

" All of us have been brought up on it. I myself 
certainly held it for a long time, and never doubted 
it till I became more and more startled by the fact 
that, while in the earliest accessible documents of 
religious thought we look in vain for any very clear 
traces of fetichism, they become more and more fre 
quent everywhere in the latter stages of religious 
development, and are certainly more visible in the 
later corruptions of the Indian religion, beginning 
with the Atharvana, than in the earliest hymns of 
the Rig Veda." 1 

For many years our works on primeval history 
have been saturated with this idea. Even profess 
edly Christian writers upon the History of Religions, 
and upon Comparative Theology, have largely fallen 
in with the prevailing notion. As one has well said, 
"The very theory has become a kind of scientific 
fetich, though like most fetiches it seems to owe its 
existence to ignorance and superstition." 

For some time past, however? this long dominant 
dogma of naturalism has been losing credit with all 
careful students of the world s religions, and indeed 
with the more thorough professional ethnologists. 
In his recent work, "The Hibbert Lectures on the 
Origin and Growth of Religion," 2 Max Miiller, him 
self for a long time, as we have seen, a believer in 
the theory, publicly challenges its correctness. In 
Lecture second, after rapidly sketching the rise and 
remarkable prevalence of the theory, he exposes, 

1 Origin and Growth of Religions. London and New York, 1879; 
p. 58. 

2 Reviewed by C. P. Tiele, in Theol. Tijdschrift, for May, 1879. 


with much acuteness and with his usual wealth of 
illustrative facts, the indiscriminateness with which 
the term fetichism has been currently used, and the 
worthlessness of evidence upon which Comte and 
others have relied. He sets forth, respectfully but 
strongly, the inadequacy of their psychological ex 
planation of the origin of fetichism, and shows that 
even the West African fetich-worshipers hold at the 
same time other views properly polytheistic, or, in 
some cases, even monotheistic. Summing up his 
own conclusions, he says, 

" The results at which we have arrived after ex 
amining the numerous works on fetichism from the 
days of De Brosses to our own time may be summed 
up under four heads : 

" First. The meaning of the word fetich has re 
mained undefined from its first introduction, and 
has by most writers been so much extended that it 
may include almost every symbolical or imitative 
representation of religious objects. 

" Second. Among people who have a history we 
find that everything which falls under the category 
of fetich points to historical and psychological ante 
cedents. We are therefore not justified in suppos 
ing that it has been otherwise among people whose 
religious development happens to be unknown or 
inaccessible to us. 

" Third. There is no religion which has kept itself 
entirely free from fetichism. 

" Fourth. There is no religion which consists 
entirely of fetichism." l 

So able an expose of the shortcomings of the 
fetichistic philosophy of the origin of religion, com- 

1 Origin and Growth of Religions, p. 115. 


ing from the pen of a scholar so widely and deserv 
edly revered, cannot fail to produce in the world of 
general readers and second-hand writers a profound 
and wholesome impression. Probably the work will 
fail of becoming " epoch-making " solely in conse 
quence of something for which the author is not re 
sponsible, namely, the fact that in discussing to-day 
this dogma of primitive fetichism one is really deal 
ing with an issue which in advanced circles is al 
ready dead. Even Mr. Andrew Lang, perhaps the 
most antagonistic of all Professor Miiller s review 
ers, is not himself willing to make fetichism the 
" first moment in the development of religion." 1 
Ten or fifteen years earlier the polemic would have 
done many times the good it can now. During this 
period a decided change has taken place. There re 
mained a decade or two ago a further step, and but 
one further step, for the advocates of the naturalistic 
view of the origin of religion to take. Hume had 
made polytheism the primitive faith ; Comte thought 
to go back of this, and to postulate a still more ru 
dimentary form as antedating polytheism. It re 
mained to go back of fetichism, and predicate of the 
first men absolute atheism. This various recent au 
thors have done, prominent among whom, in Eng 
land, is Sir John Lubbock. In chapter iv. of his 
work, miscalled " The Origin of Civilization, and the 
Primitive Condition of Man," 2 he classifies " the first 
great stages of religious thought " as follows : 
First. Atheism ; " understanding by this term not 

1 Custom and Myth. London, 1884: pp. 212-242. 

2 The first edition was published in 1870. Later echoes are heard 
in Mortillet, Le Prehistorique. See the Revue de FHistoire des Re 
ligions. Paris, 1883: p. 117. 


a denial of the existence of a deity, but an absence 
of any definite ideas on the subject." 

Second. Fetichism. In the state of primeval athe 
ism men were " not without a belief in invisible be 
ings." They especially believed in human shadows, 
ghosts, and the people seen in dreams, etc., though 
these spirits were not conceived of as immortal, or 
as possessing any supernatural powers. They were 
feared only because they were supposed to have 
power and disposition to inflict disease, or otherwise 
to injure men yet in the flesh. Now, inasmuch as it 
was believed that by means of the fetich these evil 
spirits could be controlled and coerced to the will of 
the worshiper, fetichism, viewed in its relation to 
religious development, is pronounced by Lubbock 
" a decided step in advance." Viewed in itself, " it 
is mere witchcraft." 

Third. Totemism, or Nature-worship. This our 
author nowhere clearly distinguishes from fetich 
ism. In this stage of religious progress, " the sav 
age does not abandon his belief in fetichism, from 
which, indeed, no race of men has yet entirely freed 
itself, but he superinduces on it a belief in beings 
of ~a higher and less material nature. In this stage 
everything maybe worshiped, trees, stones, riv 
ers, mountains, the heavenly bodies, plants, and 

Fourth. Shamanism. " As totemism overlies 
fetichism, so does Shamanism overlie totemism." 
Here the gods are conceived of as far more " power 
ful than men," as " of a different nature," as residing 
far away, and as " accessible only to the Shamans," 
who are " occasionally honored by the presence of 
the deities, or are allowed to visit the heavenly 


regions." This in its turn is pronounced "a consid 
erable advance " over the preceding stage of relig 
ious thought. 

Fifth. Idolatry, or Anthropomorphism. Here 
"the gods take still more completely the nature of 
men, being, however, more powerful. They are still 
amenable to persuasion ; they are a part of Nature, 
and not creators. They are represented by images 
or idols." 

Sixth. To the sixth stage no name is given ; but 
it is described as one in which " the deity is re 
garded as the author, not merely a part, of Nature. 
He becomes for the first time a really supernatural 

Seventh. In this last and highest stage, which he 
also leaves unchristened, morality becomes " for the 
first time associated with religion." * 

We will not stop to criticise in detail this ex 
tremely confused and ill-named classification, or the 
assumptions on which it rests. Its most character 
istic feature is its postulation of universal primitive 
atheism as antedating every form of religious devel 
opment in our race. So far as he rested this dogma 
either upon the affirmed absence of all religious be 
liefs and usages among the lowest savages of to-day, 
or upon the principle that the religious conceptions 
of a people are always in exact proportion to its 
degree of civilization, his refutation quickly began. 
The next year after the publication of his work, in 
a learned treatise on " Primitive Culture," E. B. Tylor 
challenged several of Lubbock s authorities for the 
statement that non-religious tribes have been found, 
while in his new work on " The Human Species," 

1 Chaps, iv.-vi. 


1879, the learned and able Professor of Anthro 
pology in the Paris Museum of Natural History, 
Quatrefages, went yet further, not only maintaining 
with Tylor that no atheistic tribe of savages has yet 
been discovered, but also expressly denying the 
proposition that elevation of religious conceptions 
invariably corresponds to the elevation of a peo 
ple in the scale of general civilization or knowl 
edge of the arts. The fact that these objections to 
the hypothesis of primitive atheism came, not from 
theologians, but from scientific men, from fellow- 
students in the fields of anthropology and ethnology, 
gave them, with many, all the greater weight. 1 
The careful reader, however, cannot fail to see that 
the only difference between Lubbock and some of his 
critics is merely one of name, and not of thing ; that 
the alleged primitive state which he calls atheistic 
exactly answers to what Tylor and Darwin would 
describe as the earliest form of animistic religion, 
and to what Herbert Spencer would call the first 
rudimentary beginnings of ghost and ancestor wor 
ship. Nor can we fail to see that the consistent 
Darwinian evolutionist must place the beginnings of 
human history so near the plane of the brute-life as 
to make it almost certain that its first stage was 
truly non-theistic, if not, indeed, altogether non-re 

Precisely at this point notice should be taken of 
the elaborate work of Otto Caspari, of Heidelberg, 
entitled " Die Urgeschichte der Menschheit, mit 

1 Professor Roskoff has done Mr. Lubbock the honor to take up 
every tribe and people, in the extended list which the latter had 
claimed as non-religious, and to exhibit in every case evidence of their 
religious character. See his work, Das Religionswesen der rohesten 
Naturvolker. Leipsic, 1880. 


Riicksicht auf die natiirliche Entwickelung des friihe- 
sten Geisteslebens " (" The Primitive History of Man 
kind, with Respect to the Natural Evolution of the 
Earliest Spiritual Life)." This two-volumed treatise 
was issued at Leipsic in 1872, and reached a second 
edition in 1877. A very large portion of it is de 
voted to the exposition of the author s view of the 
origin and natural evolution of religion in the early 
history of the race. This view is characterized 
by an originality and elaborated with an ingenuity 
which render the book as fascinating to the student 
as the most absorbing romance. The author is a 
pure and professed evolutionist, but instead of at 
tempting to solve his problem with Lyell and Broca 
from the data of Paleontology, or with Darwin and 
Hackel from the data of Zoology, or with Huxley 
and Bastian from the data of Biology, or with Miil- 
ler and Noire from the data of Philology, or with 
Prichard and Peschel from the data of Ethnology, 
or with Tylor and Lubbock from the data of Cul 
ture-History, or with Waitz and Topinard from the 
data of General Anthropology, he approaches it and 
grapples with it as a problem for that higher and 
broader science to which all of the above are tribu 
tary, the science to which its German originators 
have given the name Volker-Psy dialogic (Ethnic or 
Anthropic Psychology). He cannot consider the 
problem solved until, beginning with the psycholog 
ical facts of brute-life, we are able to represent to 
ourselves the successive steps and stages by which 
the originally animal mind slowly evolved all the 
spiritual and religious conceptions, emotions, habits, 
and ideals of the historic and actual human race. 
His own attempt to do this is not free from arbitrary 


assumptions or inconsistencies, but, as a whole, it is 
a marvel of subtile analysis and constructive ability. 
In contrast with it the expositions of Hume and 
Lubbock appear as clumsy and grotesque as the 
early theories of geology, described in Goldsmith s 
" Book of Nature," now look to the modern student 
One of the oldest of the anti-supernaturalist ex 
planations of the origin of religion is that which 
ascribes it to the ignorant and superstitious fears oi 
earliest men. 

" Primus in orbe deos fecit timer," 

wrote Petronius, and Lucretius fuller exposition of 
the same notion is familiar. No such explanation 
satisfies Caspari. He cannot conceive how fear could 
ever become that compound of reverence and love 
which is of the essence of religion. Fear simply 
prompts the brute to shun, as far as may be, the 
object feared. Equally unsatisfactory is the notion 
that the heavenly bodies and the sublimer phenom 
ena of nature inspired the awe and curious ques 
tionings out of which religion could have grown. 
The primitive man, like the anthropoid brute, took 
no notice of the remote and lofty. Nothing had in 
terest for him save that which was perceived to be 
vitally related to him in the struggle for existence. 
The range of his conceptions and of his sympathies 
was limited to the objects which were his allies or 
his enemies in this perpetual battle. Religion, there 
fore, is not to be traced to any inworking of nature, 
or of natural objects upon the human mind. It had 
a deeper and yet more obvious genesis in natural hu 
man relationships. The first and root form of all piety 
was filial piety. The first object of truly religious 
regard was the parent. This reverential and affec- 


tionate regard of the consciously ignorant, weak, 
and dependent child for the indefinitely wise, strong, 
and helpful father or mother is essentially religious. 
At an extremely early date it must have become ex 
tended from the parent to the all-defending and all- 
regulating tribal chieftain, and to the aged and ex 
perienced counselors of the rude primeval commu 
nities. The natural tendency of uncivilized men to 
gesture-language must have produced habitual forms 
of rendering homage, the germ of which we may 
observe in the homage paid by the bees to their 
queen, and thus parents, chieftains, and sages were 
the first objects of religious reverence and homage 
among men. As yet men had no conceptions of 
nature as a whole, no intellectual interest in stars, or 
trees, or animals, no mental provocation to worship 
anything else than "the ethically exalted" as it ap 
peared in the narrow circle of the family and tribal 
life. There was no thought of an unseen world, no 
idea of souls, no proper conception even of death. 
The dead man was supposed to be simply asleep, or 
in a long swoon. Being self-evidently helpless for 
the present, like a sick member of the family, he 
called out natural pity and care. Food and drink 
were placed in readiness against his awakening. If 
he had to be left behind, he was put in a cave to 
protect him against wild beasts, and his weapons 
were left for his use. 

On the basis of this nai ve conception of things the 
rise of animal worship first becomes conceivable. 
The beast which has devoured a man, living or dead, 
is now as much man as beast. The man has not 
ceased to be ; he has simply blended his life in that 
of the beast, and become a " man-beast." The feroc- 


ity of the new compound is easily mistaken for an 
angry wish on the part of the late man to take ven 
geance on his relatives or associates for not having 
more effectually protected him from the devouring 
animal. But if the " man-beast " is human enough 
to remember and avenge such real or supposed neg 
lects on the part of his late friends, he must be hu 
man enough to recognize and appreciate any well- 
meant attempts to appease his anger and propitiate 
his favor. Hence a natural basis, not for universal 
animal worship, but for the worship of the more 
common carnivora, and these Caspari endeavors to 
show were the first that attained such distinction. 

Here, also, is found the origin of cannibalism. 
A man has killed his foe. If he leaves him merely 
dead he will some time come to life again as bad as 
ever. If haply before this some wild beast devour 
him, he will then become a ferocious and malevo 
lent " man-beast," a worse enemy than before. 
There is no way of making the victory final and se 
cure, except by eating him up one s self. Then the 
life and valor of the slain become life and valor 
to the slayer. Even the eating of others than foes 
is in this way made intelligible. As the Fan Ne 
groes are said to eat " with a certain tenderness " 
the bodies of their wives and children, so the 
primitive man, seeking the safest possible place for 
the body of his dead friend, may have thought it a 
far friendlier act to eat him up than to leave him to 
take his chances at the hand of worms underground, 
or beasts of prey above it. Between the two mo 
tives, the desire to appropriate the vital forces of 
the foe and the wish to do the best possible thing 
for the unwakable friend, our author thinks that 


anthropophagy became in the first age of the world 
almost universal. The very piety of the surviving 
toward the dead contributed to the dissemination of 
the revolting custom. 

Our limits will not permit an equally full account 
of the remaining stages by which religion grew to be 
what it has been and is in the world. Suffice to say 
that possible millenniums from the beginning of 
human history " toward the end of the Stone Age," 
there occurred the greatest revolution in human 
thought and belief and life which the race has yet 
witnessed. This was brought about by the rise and 
adoption of the belief that trees and men and beasts 
in fine, all natural objects are possessed of 
invisible, impalpable, vital principles, souls. That 
which produced and supported this strange, new no 
tion was a discovery which, estimated by the breadth 
and profoundness of its influence, must be placed at 
the head of all others, the discovery, namely, of 
the art of kindling fire. This mysterious and novel 
power of evoking what seemed a bright and living 
being from the realm of the invisible, by means of 
the "fire-drill," half bewildered even the priestly 
caste, in whose hands the awful secret lay. Their 
attempts to use it led to Shamanism and a sincere 
magic. By means of the observed vital heat of 
living things and the coldness of the dead the new 
element was quickly identified with the inner es 
sence of life itself, and the new art the more com 
mended to universal attention by means of its be 
neficent applications in the hands of the Flamens, 
or Fire-priests, to the purposes of healing. The 
same identification of heat and life soon associated 
phallus and fire-drill, and introduced the strange and 


apparently monstrous aberration of phallic worship. 
Under these new ideas it was only natural that sun 
and star and lightning flash should come to have a 
new significance for man, and make their impress 
on religion. Animal worship was profoundly mod 
ified in ways ingeniously set forth. The simple 
oblations of the earlier period give place to sacri 
fices to fire, and to the heavenly bodies. So strong 
is the desire to become transformed into white, 
flaming spirits, and to be joined to the supernal 
fellowship of such, that men bring themselves as 
offerings, and seek transfiguration in the holy altar 
flames. Hence human sacrifices ; hence also in 
cremation of the dead. In time, the idea of the 
soul takes on greater and greater definiteness ; so 
also the idea of the immaterial supersensual gods. 
The long-continued stimulation of the imagination 
renders myth-constructions possible. Some of the 
great priesthoods of history invent hieroglyphic and 
alphabetic writing, and in time there naturally fol 
low sacred books, cosmogonies, codes of religious 
laws, etc., etc. The magic wand of the first fire- 
bringer has at last created a spiritual and unseen 
counterpart to the world which is seen. In this 
enchanted world we live to-day ; the lowest of us 
showing our faith by superstitious fetichism, the 
highest of us by attempts at a purely spiritual wor 
ship. That highest Christian conception, " God is 
light, and in Him is no darkness at all," is simply 
the culmination of a mode of thinking which started 
ages ago with the spark which some savage prehis 
toric flint-chipper struck out of the flinty stone. 1 

1 Very similar to Caspari s view is that set forth by Professor J. 
Frohschammer in his late work, Die Genesis der Menschheit. Miinchen, 
1883: pp. 68-38 1. 


The brevity of this sketch of Caspari s theory ren 
ders it impossible to do full justice to the skill and 
plausibility with which he has elaborated it. Still 
less have we space for that detailed review which 
would be needed were we to undertake a refutation 
of the scheme in part or whole. 

In striking opposition to the theory of Caspari 
stands that of Jules Baissac, elaborated in his " Ori- 
gines de la Religion." 1 He, too, begins with primi 
tive animality, and proposes to trace the rise and 
natural evolution of religion from that far-off start 
ing-point of the human race. But, instead of mag 
nifying the initial influence of a pure domestic life 
in Caspari s truly German method, Baissac in a 
manner characteristically French, shall we say ? 
starts with a deification of mere maternity, con 
ceived of as self-originating and self-sufficing. This 
form of religion prevailed during the remote period 
anterior to the time when it was discovered that 
males had any participation in the procreation of the 
species. The religious symbols of that far-off age 
were " les elevations et tumescences terrestres, natu- 
relles ou artificielles, et les cavites souterraines ; les 
tumescences comme image du sein maternel en etat 
de pregnation et les profondeurs et cavites comme 
ventre sacr de la divine mere. De la le culte des 
ballons ou montagnes a croupe arrondie ; de la le 
symbolisme des tumuli, des pyramides, des grottes, 
des puits, des labyrinthes, des dolmens." In this 
period all motherhood is divine, and all life and 
change in nature are mentally represented as a 
spontaneous, and exclusively female, conceiving and 
bringing forth. 

1 Paris, 2 tomes, 1877. Compare Baring-Gould, Religious Belief. 
New York, 1870: Part I., pp. 411-414. 


In the second period, which is still anterior to the 
idea of marriage and to the establishment of the 
idea of personal property or individual rights, the 
function of the male principle has been discovered ; 
and now Nature, the divine mother, is conceived of 
as analogous to a woman of the period, a mother 
fecundated only by male energy, but by male energy 
from any quarter. To use Baissac s own terms, she 
is a " prostituee divine, ayant son symbole dans la 
terre ouverte a tous les germes." 1 

In the third period the two principles are brought 
into a relation of equality, and now the divine be 
comes hermaphrodite. 

In the fourth the male principle is given priority, 
the religious symbols of maternity give place to the 
phallic symbols, the institutions of marriage and 
property arise, the power of atmospheric and celes 
tial divinities begins to supersede that of earth- 
spirits. The fifth stage is marked by the entire 
predominance of these celestial divinities and the 
definite rejection of the ancient chthonian and sub 
terranean powers. In the sixth comes the final 
separation of the Heaven and the Earth, the idea of 
creation, and the idea of an almighty and transcend 
ent Creator of all things. 

The manner in which the author elaborates this 
remarkable interpretation of the history and symbol 
ism of religion, through two octavo volumes of 300 
pages each, is as ingenious as it is disgusting. 

Behold the savory outcome of these successive 
philosophic and scientific rebellions against history ! 
And whom of all these wise men of the West shall 
we follow ? The first form of religion, says one of 

1 Origines, p. 131. 


them, was an animal hallucination of the early an 
thropoids respecting sexual generation. No, says 
another, it was a genuine worship of invisible gods 
and goddesses, like the beautiful Olympian divini 
ties of Greece, a religion whose fruits in character 
and conduct compare most favorably with those of 
Christian monotheism. 1 Absurd ! exclaims a third. 
" Polytheism " is a very high type of religion ; men 
never could have reached that until after the inven 
tion of the fire-drill, nobody knows how many ages 
from the beginning. Fools all! rejoin the more 
thorough-going. Know ye not that primitive men 
were far lower than our lowest modern savages, as 
incapable of any religious ideas as they were of us 
ing the integral calculus ? 

At the beginning of the exposition of these specu 
lations it was intimated that their contradictory and 
incredible outcome had already provoked a degree 
of reaction even from biological and sociological 
writers. This reaction is too instructive to leave 
unnoticed. 2 It comes from men who, religiously or 
theologically speaking, seem in full sympathy with 
the rejecters of the old Biblical and pan-ethnic faith ; 
but they find they cannot go along with these re 
jecters without surrendering more than any biol 
ogist or sociologist can afford to surrender if he 
would maintain a credible philosophy of the history 
of man and of human society. To a simple disciple 
of history the spectacle of their embarrassment and 
of their attempts at extrication is in an eminent 
degree entertaining. Indeed, the best refutation of 
whatever is wrong in all these new conceptions of 

1 Hume s above-cited Essay, closing sections. 

2 Compare Revue des Deux Mondes, April, 1880, pp. 660-665. 


primordial religion will be found, not in a blind and 
indiscriminate polemic against them en masse, but 
in showing how every departure from the traditional 
conception involves the careful thinker in perplex- 
ing if not insoluble problems, and how easily all the 
real facts on which these proposed departures are 
based can be arrayed in support of the traditional 
conception. To this task we turn. 

First, then, according to Genesis, the earliest rep 
resentatives of the human race began their exist 
ence in Paradise unclad, unhoused, and possessed 
of none of the outward and visible signs of what 
is called civilization. Had Mr. Lubbock been per 
mitted at the time to visit the spot, he would have 
seen so far as Moses suggests no printing-press, 
no power-loom, perhaps not even a "fire-drill" or 
flint " arrow-head." He would have seen no god, 
no Miltonic guard of angels, no Eden gates, no tem 
ple or altar. He would have noticed in the luxu 
riant tropical landscape simply a wealth of grace 
ful animal forms, rising in manifold gradations, and 
culminating in two fair human figures. He would 
doubtless have gone his way, and reported at the 
next meeting of the Anthropological Society the 
discovery of a new Otaheite, whose naked and art 
less inhabitants were evidently at the bottom of the 
scale as respects " culture," and in the sub-fetichis- 
tic " atheistic stage " as respects religion. So do 
ing, he would have committed no greater blunder 
than many of his favorite reporters have made in 
describing such people as the Andaman Islanders. 1 

1 For the complete vindication of this statement see Sir Henry 
Sumner Maine, Early Law and Custom, London, 1883, pp. 229-231 ; 
Quatrefages, The Human Species, New York, 1879, chap. xxxv. ; and 


According to the old conception, no less than ac 
cording to the new, the arts were only gradually 
developed. Men were destitute of the art of metal- 
working and of all to which that was essential until 
the days of Tubal Cain. Musical instruments there 
were none until invented by Jubal. Everything in 
sacred Scripture indicates the kind of social and 
industrial progress for which, in connection with 
the beginnings of human society, one would natu 
rally look. 

So far, then, the believer in Sacred History has no 
occasion whatever to disagree with the believer in 
Natural History. Hackel and Peschel and Caspari 
hold, with Moses, to the monogenesis of the race, 
and even place their imaginary "Lemuria" just 
under the northern portion of the Indian Ocean, 
hard by one of the traditional seats of Eden. Their 
account of man s migrations from that centre, and 
of his primeval destitution of the arts, conflict with 
no fact recorded in Holy Scripture. Neither party 
can tell precisely how long the period antecedent to 
the rise of the first great historic civilizations of 
Asia, Egypt, and Greece lasted, and neither can tell 
how long ago it terminated, so that even in their 
confessed ignorances both are in accord. 

But, secondly, the believer in Sacred History, He 
brew or Ethnic, cannot accept the eagerly advocated 
notion that the intellectual condition of the earliest 
men was not higher than that of the lowest savages 
of to-day. Ignorant of many things those earliest 
generations must have been, but it is equally certain 

especially Roskoff, Das Religionswesen derrohesten Naturvolker, Leip- 
sic, 1880, and Reville, Les Religions des Peuples non-civilisfc, Paris, 
1883, torn, i., ch. i. 


that they must have been above the line which sep 
arates stationary or retrograding peoples from pro 
gressive ones. They were men capable of investigat 
ing the powers and laws of nature, of originating 
arts absolutely new in the history of the world, and 
of making successive inventions which revolution 
ized the social state. 

With this representation we should expect the 
Darwinian, on sober second thought, to agree. For 
it is a well-known fact that our lowest savages are 
dying out, while the men who peopled the world in 
accordance with the law of the survival of the fittest, 
at a period in the earth s history when, in important 
respects, according to Darwin, the environment was 
less favorable to the human struggle for existence 
than now, must have been superior to these de 
generating and vanishing tribes. And as all evo 
lutionists, in enumerating the qualities which win 
in the struggle for existence, lay great stress upon 
superior intellectual endowments, it is only a nat 
ural inference that the native intelligence of the 
earliest men was at least superior to that of the low 
est modern savage. Turning to the writers in ques 
tion we find our antecedent expectations confirmed. 
Thus Mr. Herbert Spencer, in one of his matur- 
est works, expresses himself as follows : " There 
are sundry reasons for suspecting that existing men 
of the lowest types, forming social groups of the 
simplest kinds, do not exemplify men as they origi 
nally were. Probably most of them, if not all of 
them, had ancestors in higher states, and among 
their beliefs remain some which were evolved dur 
ing those higher states. . . . There is inadequate 
warrant for the notion that the lowest savagery has 


always been as low as it is now. . . . That supplant 
ing of race by race, and thrusting into corners such 
inferior races as are not exterminated, which is now 
going on so actively, and which has been going on 
from the earliest recorded times, must have been 
ever going on. And the implication is that remnants 
of inferior races, taking refuge in inclement, barren, 
and otherwise unfit regions, have retrograded." l 

In like manner Darwin himself conceives of the 
first men as capable of rising in thought above the 
knowledge furnished by the senses, as able to repre 
sent to themselves the unseen and spiritual. And he 
expressly calls their mental faculties " high," say 
ing, " The same high mental faculties which first 
led men to believe in unseen spiritual agencies, then 
in fetichism, polytheism, and ultimately in monothe 
ism, would infallibly lead him, so long as his reason 
ing powers remained poorly developed, to various 
strange superstitions and customs." 2 Thus Darwin 
justly considers the character of the very aberra 
tions of the human intellect in its infantile stage a 
striking proof of the loftiness of its powers. 

Lubbock ascribes to the earliest men a like ability 
to conceive of the supersensual and to govern them 
selves largely by ideals. Though sometimes de 
scribing the primitive generations as in a state of 
"utter barbarism," or as having been " no more ad 
vanced than the lowest savages of to-day," this 
seems to occur only by inadvertence ; for in the later 
editions of his already quoted work, " The Origin 
of Civilization," page 483, he expressly admits and 
asserts that he does not regard cannibals as repre- 

1 Principles of Sociology, pp. 106-109. 

2 Descent of Man, vol. i., p. 66. 


sentatives of the first men. 1 On the same page he 
says, " It may be as well to state emphatically that 
all brutal customs are not, in my opinion, primeval. 
Human sacrifices, for instance, were, I think, cer 
tainly not so." 

Caspari no less emphatically affirms that the so 
cial state of the North American Indians and of the 
Australians is not primitive, but a result of degen 
eration. He says, " We know a succession of such 
tribes, of which, in fact, only ausgeartete verkommene 
Banden und staatliche Splitter remain in existence, 
who, wild and savage, wander about in the primitive 
forests, miserably to perish." 2 

Tylor takes the same general ground, maintaining 
that the best representatives of primitive men are 
not the lowest but "the higher" of the uncivilized 
races. Thus he says, " In a study of the nature- 
myths of the world it is hardly practicable to start 
from the conceptions of the very lowest human 
tribes, and to work upward from thence to fictions of 
higher growth : partly because our information is 
meagre as to the beliefs of these shy and seldom 
quite intelligible folk, and partly because the legends 
they possess have not reached the artistic and sys 
tematic shape which they attain to among races next 
higher in the scale. It therefore answers better 

1 Let us hope that it is by a like inadvertence, merely, that Profes 
sor Sayce speaks of " the savage tribes of the modern world, and the 
still more savage tribes among whom the languages of the earth took 
their start." Introdtiction to the Science of Language, vol. ii., p. 31. 
Compare p. 269, where, speaking of the mythopoeic man, whom he 
considers a considerable advance on the primitive savage, the profes 
sor says, " He had not yet learned to distinguish between the lifeless 
and the living ; " " he had not yet realized that aught existed which 
his senses could not perceive." 

2 Vol.i.,p. 113. 


to take as a foundation the mythology of the North 
American Indians, the South Sea Islanders, and 
other high savage tribes who best represent in mod 
ern times the early mythological period of human 
history" 1 

In chapter ii. of the same work he presents the 
evidence that many of the very lowest tribes of the 
modern world have become what they are by degen 

But, thirdly, if the best representatives of the 
first men must be sought, not among the lowest, but 
rather among the higher, of the uncivilized peoples, 
then surely we are justified in rejecting the notion 
of all those writers who, since the time of De 
Brosses and Comte, have maintained that primitive 
men personified and vitalized and fetichized all natu 
ral objects about them. 

On this point the author of the " Outlines of 
Cosmic Philosophy" is less clear-sighted than his 
master, Herbert Spencer. Boldly and ably as he 
criticises Comte in some other particulars, in this 
Mr. Fiske surrenders to him wholly. He says, "We 
may safely assert, with Comte, that the earliest atti 
tude assumed by the mind in interpreting nature 
was a fetichistic attitude." 2 Spencer, however, rec 
ognizing the fact that the lower mammals, birds, and 
even insects are able to distinguish animate from 
inanimate objects, and that to deny this capacity to 
the first men would be to make them less and lower 
than animals, commits himself unreservedly to the 
view in harmony with that of the Biblical record. 
Quoting the stock examples of savages who, on 

1 Primitive Culture, vol. i., p. 321. 

2 Vol. i., p. 178, et passim. 


first seeing a watch or a compass, imagined that 
it was alive, he shows the naturalness of the mis 
take, and very properly says : " We must exclude 
these mistakes made in classing things which ad 
vanced arts have made to simulate living things, 
since such things mislead the primitive man in ways 
unlike those in which he can be misled by the natu 
ral objects about him. Limiting ourselves to his 
conceptions of these natural objects, we cannot but 
conclude that his classification of them into animate 
and inanimate is substantially correct. Concluding 
this, we are obliged to diverge at the outset from 
certain interpretations currently given of his super 
stitions. The assumption, tacit or avowed, that the 
primitive man tends to ascribe life to things which 
are not living is clearly an untenable assumption. 
Consciousness of the difference between the two, 
growing ever more definite as intelligence evolves, 
must be in him more definite than in all lower crea 
tures. To suppose that without cause he begins to 
confound them is to suppose the process of evolu 
tion inverted." 1 

This writer, therefore, whom Darwin in one pas 
sage calls "our great philosopher," explicitly rejects 
the dogma of the primitiveness and universality 
of animism and fetichism among the earliest men. 
According to him, animistic and fetichistic beliefs 
were not " primary beliefs ; " they were errors into 
which " the primitive man was betrayed during his 
early attempts to understand the surrounding world." 
" The primitive man no more tends to confound 
animate with inanimate than inferior creatures do " 
(p. 146). 

1 Principles of Sociology, pp. 143, 144. 


Caspar!, too, as we have seen, denies to fetichism 
a primitive character. 1 Ascribing its rise to the 
new ideas which the discovery of the art of fire-kin 
dling produced, he makes the worship of u the mor 
ally exalted " (des sittlich Erhabenen}, represented 
by the personal father, the tribal chieftain, and the 
deceased ancestor, far older, possibly thousands of 
years older, than any worship of fetiches. With 
Lubbock there is no moral element in religion until 
it reaches its last and highest stage. With Caspari, 
on the contrary, religion is essentially moral in its 
first emergence, and has from the first moment of 
its existence an actual and relatively worthy per 
sonal object. This is a prodigious scientific advance 
from the" positions of Hume, Comte, Lubbock, and 
all their followers, and by postulating a high moral 
nature and moral life at the very beginnings of hu 
man history it renders the Biblical conception of 
those beginnings not only conceivable, but even an 
tecedently probable. 

Fourthly. The Bible and the sacred traditions of 
nearly all peoples present monogamy as the first 
form of marriage, ascribing all deviations from it to 
the ungoverned selfish passions of men. This view, 
Lubbock and the writers whom he has followed, 
McLennan and Morgan, emphatically reject. These 
theorists claim that among the first men the late 

1 Compare the like utterance of Frohshammer : " Mit Fetischismus 
hat das Gottesbewusstsein und religiose Cultus nicht begonnen." Die 
Genesis der Menschheit. Miinchen, 1883: p. 71. Also, the recent 
declaration of a learned Professor of Roman Law : " Die religiose 
Anschauung aller Volker ist, denke ich, ausgegangen von dem Glau- 
ben an Einen gottlichen Willen, welcher liber Allen und zu Oberst 
waltet." J. E. Kuntze, Prolegomena zur Geschichte Roms. Leipsic, 
1882 : p. 23. 


Oneida Community system of " complex marriage," 
or, as Lubbock calls it, " communal marriage," uni 
versally obtained. The appropriateness of the term 
marriage is very far from clear. The first communi 
ties were mere herds, in which all the women were 
"wives" to all the men. In McLennan s opinion 
" the next stage was that form of polyandry in which 
brothers had their wives in common ; afterward came 
that of the levirate, i. e., the system under which, 
when an elder brother died, his second brother mar 
ried the widow, and so on with the others in suc 
cession. Thence he considered that some tribes 
branched off into endogamy, others into exogamy ; 
that is to say, some forbade marriage out of, others 
within, the tribe. If either of these two systems 
was older than the other, he held that exogamy must 
have been the more ancient. Exogamy was based 
on infanticide, and led to the practice of marriage 
by capture. Lubbock, on the contrary, believes 
that the communal marriage, which he assumes to 
have been the primitive form, " was gradually super 
seded by individual marriage founded on capture," 
and that this led, first, to exogamy, and then to 
female infanticide, thus reversing Mr. McLennan s 
order of sequence. " Endogamy and regulated poly 
andry, though frequent," he says, " I regard as ex 
ceptional and as not entering into the normal prog 
ress of development." 1 Still different is the theory 
of Bachofen, set forth in his work entitled " Das 
Mutterrecht." Assuming sexual promiscuity as the 
primordial state, he considers that under this system 
the women, instead of being rendered more and 

1 Origin of Civilization, pp. 94, 95. Compare D. McLennan, The 
Patriarchal Theory. London, 1884 : P- 355- 


more debauched and corrupted by the practice, as 
we might suppose, became on the contrary, in pro 
cess of time, so refined, that after a season they felt 
shocked and scandalized by the beastly state of 
things, revolted against it, and established a system 
of marriage with female supremacy, the husband be 
ing subject to the wife, property and descent being 
required to follow the female line, and women enjoy 
ing the principal share of political power. 

Gradually, however, the more spiritual ideas asso 
ciated with fatherhood prevailed over the more ma 
terial ideas associated with motherhood. The father 
came to be considered the real author of life to the 
offspring, the mother a mere nurse ; property and 
descent were traced in the male line, sun-worship 
superseded moon-worship, men absorbed all political 
power, in a word, as primitive " Hetairismus" was 
followed by the " Mother-Law " system, so this now 
gave way to the modern social state. 

The chief evolutionist authorities disagreeing so 
widely on this point, it is surely proper to look fur 
ther. So doing, we find a number of at least equally 
respectable, scientific and speculative representa 
tives of the evolutional school, who expressly ques 
tion, if they do not openly reject, the dogma of uni 
versal sexual promiscuity as the primeval social state. 
Thus Herbert Spencer argues through many pages 
of his " Principles of Sociology " against McLennan, 
claiming that monogamy must be conceived of as 
going back to the beginning. However unsettled 
social and sexual relations then were, " promiscuity," 
he affirms, "was checked by the establishment of in 
dividual connections prompted by men s likings, and 
maintained against other men by force" (p. 665), 


Again he says, " The impulses which lead primitive 
men to monopolize other objects of value must lead 
them to monopolize women " (p. 664). And again, 
" Monogamy dates back as far as any other marital 
relation " (p. 698). Darwin takes substantially the 
same view, positively discrediting the alleged sexual 
promiscuity of the earliest communities. 1 

In like manner another of the latest of English 
writers on this subject, James A. Farrer, in his book 
entitled " Primitive Manners and Customs," 2 em 
phatically rejects the notion that a brutal and forci 
ble bride-capturing was ever universal, and denies 
that the customs relied upon by McLennan and 
others to prove its prevalence are to be viewed as 
a survival of such a custom. As to the absolutely 
first form of marriage he does not express an opin 
ion, but the theory of primitive monogamy would 
better agree with his general representation than 
any other. The same may be said of Caspari, who, 
though he does not expressly postulate the priority 
of monogamy, yet ascribes to filial piety a role in 
the first origination of religion which seems to ne 
cessitate such a postulate. 3 So Mr. John Fiske s 
suggestion that the transition from the anthropoid 
animals to truly human beings was probably effected 
by the prolongation of infancy and of parental care 
incident to the slower evolution of a highly complex 
organism, and by the family life thus necessitated 
and brought about, is more harmonious with the 
doctrine of primitive monogamy than with any other. 
It would not be surprising, therefore, if this class of 

1 Descent of Man, vol. ii., pp. 362-367. 

2 London, 1879. 

8 See vol. i., pp. 322, 358, 367. 


considerations, which we meet again in Noire s the 
ory of the origin of language, should gradually lead 
to such a reconstruction of Darwinistic sociology as 
will postulate monogamy as the one and only form 
of sexual relation by virtue of which man could have 
arisen out of the lower and preceding animal orders. 
Mr. Spencer calls Mr. Fiske s suggestion " an im 
portant " one, and he explains it in a note appended 
to a significant declaration respecting the biological 
and sociological value of monogamy (p. 630). Else 
where, after stating that " irregular relations of the 
sexes are at variance with the welfare of the society, 
of the young and of the adults," and after ascribing 
the gradual dying out of the Andamanese to their 
promiscuity of sexual relation, 1 he says, "We may 
infer that the progeny of such unions (as had a de 
gree of exclusiveness and durability) were more 
likely to be reared and more likely to be vigorous " 
(p. 669). Again, a page or two later, he uses this 
language : " As under ordinary conditions the rear 
ing of more numerous and stronger offspring must 
have been favored by more regular sexual relations, 
there must on the average have been a tendency for 
those societies most characterized by promiscuity to 
disappear before those less characterized by it " (p. 
671). But Spencer himself must grant that in the 
earliest ages, upon the whole, the race multiplied 
and spread from generation to generation, so that we 
must at least conclude from his own declaration, 
that the approximately monogamous societies and 

1 Mr. E. H. Man s recent paper on the Andaman Islanders (The 
Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xii., i. 69, and ii. 13) de 
nies the alleged sexual promiscuity, and illustrates the worthlessness 
of much of the evidence on which popular ethnographers rely. 


unions were more numerous than the approximately 
promiscuous ones. Well, therefore, may Mr. Lang, 
our latest advocate of McLennan s theory, concede 
the possibility that " man originally lived in the pa 
triarchal or monogamous family," and seek to con 
tent his fellow sociologists with the assurance that 
" if there occurred a fall from the primitive family, 
and if that fall was extremely general, affecting even 
the Aryan race, Mr. McLennan s adherents will be 
amply satisfied." J 

Fifthly. The Bible represents the earliest men as 
capable of entertaining the conception of a supreme 
Divine Being, the Maker of the heavens and earth, 
the Creator and rightful Lord of men. It represents 
them as capable of realizing the moral obligation of 
obedience to the Creator, and as possessed of free 
dom to obey or to disobey. It gives us to understand 
that, as a matter of fact, a few then as now were 
faithful to their light and to their convictions of 
duty, while the greater part lived in conscious vio 
lation of the promptings of their own consciences. 
As a natural consequence immoralities multiplied : 
these demoralized and brutalized those who practiced 
them. Then demoralized and brutalized parents 
were followed by children less well instructed and 
less well endowed than they themselves had been, 
and so, despite exceptional men and exceptional fam 
ilies who were more faithful to conscience, the gen 
eral demoralization went on. The song of Lamech, 
Gen. iv. 23, 24, is the song of a true savage, though 
of one who has known the law of right and duty. 
One can hardly read it without imagining it first 
sung in a kind of domestic war-dance in the hut of 

1 Custom and Myth. London, 1884: pp. 246-248. 


its polygamous author. He glories in his homicides, 
and evidently belongs to those who with savage lust 
and brutality " took them wives of all which they 
chose." He was a representative of his Cainite kin 
dred. By the mass of these and those who inter 
married with them the Father and Lord of all crea 
tures was ignored and gradually misconceived, and 
at last superseded by creations of man s own disor 
dered mind and heart, until the pure primitive relig 
ion of the righteous patriarchs became a false wor 
ship as irrational and immoral as the mass of those 
who gave themselves to its loathsome and cruel 
practices. With some populations this abnormal 
and immoral evolution proceeded to thoroughly un 
natural and self-destructive results, such as religious 
prostitution, sodomy, human sacrifices, cannibalism, 
etc. On the other hand, then as now, fidelity to 
truth and goodness led its possessor to larger knowl 
edge and to higher spiritual experiences. Then as 
ever the principle held good, "To him that hath 
shall be given." Hence alongside and within and 
above the historic evolution of a large portion of the 
race from evil to evil there was another evolution of 
a smaller but more vital portion from good to good. 
If Satan s kingdom steadily unfolded, so did also the 
kingdom of God. And while the one was in the 
direction of spiritual and physical degeneration and 
death, the other was in the direction of life and ulti 
mate spiritual ascendency. Both of these partial or 
special evolutions were within and part of the uni 
versal evolution of the race under its preestablished 
nature and conditions, one of which fundamental 
conditions is its immanency in the Divine. Such is 
the picture presented us by all the monotheistic re- 


ligions of the world, and it is substantially confirmed 
by most of the ancient traditions of the human race. 
Now in all this there is nothing inconsistent with 
any well-established facts or principles of science. 
Some authorities which Lubbock himself quotes 
prove not only that uncivilized tribes are capable of 
entertaining the theistic conception of the world, 
but also that not a few of them when first found 
actually possessed remarkably high and pure con 
ceptions of the Supreme Spirit and of man s rela 
tion to him. Thus he cites Livingstone as saying 
that " the uncontaminated African believes that the 
Great Spirit lives above the stars." In trying to 
prove the absence of prayer among certain savages, 
he admits witnesses who show that the Esquimos, 
the North American Indians, and the Caribs be 
lieved in the existence of a Supreme Spirit, the 
" Master of Life." He even quotes the following 
objection to prayer made by Tomochichi, the chief 
of the Yamacraws, to General Oglethorpe, to wit : 
" That the asking of any particular blessing looked 
to him like directing God ; and if so, that it must 
be a very wicked thing. That for his part he thought 
everything that happened in the world was as it 
should be ; that God of himself would do for every 
one what was consistent with the good of the whole ; 
and that our duty to him was to be content with 
whatever happened in general, and thankful for all 
the good that happened in particular." What civil 
ized religionist, what purest monotheist, ever appre 
hended or expressed this theological problem more 
clearly than did this Indian chief? Lubbock quotes 
another author as saying that the Caribs considered 
the Great Spirit as endowed with so great good- 


ness that he does not take revenge even on his ene 
mies. 1 

So Mr. Tylor allows not only that most barbarians 
are able to conceive of a Creator, but also that they 
actually believe in one. He says : 

"Races of North and South America, of Africa, 
of Polynesia, recognizing a number of great deities, 
are usually and reasonably considered polytheists, 
yet their acknowledgment of a Supreme Creator 
would entitle them at the same time to the name of 
monotheists," if belief in a Supreme Deity, held to 
be the Creator of the world and chief of the spiritual 
hierarchy, were the sufficient criterion of monothe 
ism. " High above the doctrine of souls, of divine 
manes, of local nature-spirits, of the great deities of 
class and element, there are to be discerned in sav 
age theology shado wings, quaint or majestic, of the 
conception of a Supreme Deity." 2 

He illustrates the prevalence of this conception 
by facts related of barbarous peoples in almost 
every quarter of the globe. Speaking of the re 
markable clearness of this idea and belief among 
the New Zealanders, the Hawaiians, the Tongans, 
Samoans, and other representatives of the Polyne 
sian race, he says : 

" Students of the science of religion who hold 
polytheism to be but the misdevelopment of a 
primal idea of divine unity, which in spite of cor 
ruption continues to pervade it, might well choose 
this South Sea Island divinity as their aptest illus 
tration from the savage world." 3 

1 Origin of Civilization, pp. 374, 375. 

2 Primitive Culture, vol. ii., p. 332. 

8 Compare Quatrefages, pp. 486-495 


He quotes Moerenhout as saying : 

" Taaroa is their supreme, or rather only, God ; 
for all the others, as in other known polytheisms, 
seem scarcely more than sensible figures and im 
ages of the infinite attributes united in his divine 

He adds the following sublime native description 
of this Supreme God : 

" He was ; Taaroa was his name ; he abode in the 
void. No earth, no sky, no men. Taaroa calls, but 
naught answers ; and alone existing he became the 
universe" (p. 345). 

Though an outspoken opponent of the theory that 
polytheism arose from moral and spiritual degenera 
tion, his own facts are so strong that for the expla 
nation of some of them he is constrained to resort 
to it. Speaking of the "conceptions of the Supreme 
Deity in the savage and barbaric world," he says, 
" The degeneration theory may claim such beliefs 
as mutilated and perverted remnants of higher re 
ligions, in some instances no doubt with justice." 

That a religion originally good and pure may de 
generate and become corrupt is conceded even by 
Lubbock. At the close of his sketch of " the low 
est intellectual stages through which religion has 
passed," he uses this significant language : 

" I have stopped short sooner, perhaps, than I 
should otherwise have done, because the worship of 
personified principles, such as Fear, Love, Hope, 
etc., could not have been treated apart from that of 
the Phallus, or Lingam, with which it was so inti 
mately associated in Greece, India, Mexico, and else 
where ; and which, though at first modest and pure, 
as all religions are in their origin, led to such 


abominable practices that it is one of the most pain 
ful chapters in human history." l 

Reading this, the disciple of history simply asks, 
If men could so corrupt the originally modest and 
pure worship of Aphrodite, why not also the origi 
nally pure worship of El ? 

Sixthly. The disclosure of the Arctic Eden solves 
all further difficulties in the Hebrew conception of 
the religious development of mankind. 

This doctrine as to the cradle of the race con 
cedes to the devotee of prehistoric archaeology all his 
claims as to the lowly beginnings of every historic 
civilization developed in our postdiluvian seats of 
humanity. It welcomes every revelation which fossil 
bone, or chipped flint, or lacustrine pile, or sepul 
chral mound has ever made, finding in it precious 
illustration of those " times of ignorance " through 
which our expatriated race has made its passage 
(Acts xvii. 30; Rom. i. 18-32). It is equally ready 
for every conclusion of the scientific anthropologist. 
By his own doctrine of the power of environment, 
and by his own picture of Mammalian life in Ter 
tiary and Quaternary times, it constrains him to 
admit that if the Eden of Genesis was at the Pole, 
the Biblical picture of Antediluvian Man, with his 
extraordinary vigor and stature and longevity, with 
his extraordinary defiance of the authority of God, 
and with his extraordinary persistence in the in 
dulgence of self-centred passions and appetites and 
ambitions, is credible in the highest degree. And 
that nothing may be lacking to its perfect confirma 
tion, the comparative mythologist discovers that in 
this new Eden he is given the master-key to his 

l Origin of Civilization, p. 350. 


own science, and that every great system of ancient 
mythology and of mythological geography must now 
be freshly and intelligently interpreted in the light 
of it. The old, old stories of a Golden Age, of the 
Hesperidian Gardens, of the Tree of Golden Fruit, 
of the Hyperborean Macrobii, of the insurrection 
of the Titans, of the destruction of mankind by a 
Flood, are history once more. Their authenticity 
as history is attested by new and unchangeable evi 
dences, by witnesses as unbribable as the axis 
of the earth and the pole of the heavens. No more 
can the investigator of the history and philosophy 
of religion rule out the ancient myths of humanity 
as senseless, or seek to interpret them as results of 
an inevitable " disease of language." No more can 
they be palmed off upon us as capricious variations 
of that myth of dawn, or of the sun, or of the storm, 
which we are told that the fancy of " primitive " 
men is ever weaving. They are simply blurred 
chapters from the neglected and abused and almost 
lost Bible of the Gentiles, confirming and establish 
ing the opening chapters of our own. 

Summing up, then, we see : I. That in rejecting 
the historical conception of the primeval religious 
belief of mankind Hume took up a position which 
none of his own successors consider as at all tena 

2. The further these successors have carried their 
revolt against history, the more have they become 
involved in contradiction with each other. 

3. The more consistently and radically the dogma 
of primitive savagery has been carried out, the more 
inevitably has it landed its advocates in the doctrine 
of primitive bestiality. 


4. In their eagerness to destroy the possibility or 
credibility of primeval monotheism, these more con 
sistent and radical theorists have inadvertently gone 
so far as to render a self-consistent evolutional biol 
ogy or sociology impossible. 

5. In consequence hereof the more clear-sighted 
of the representatives of Darwinism are just now 
deftly re-approaching the long-scouted historic con 
ception, by representing the first men as superior to 
the modern savage in intellectual endowment, by 
calling their powers high, by considering their judg 
ments of natural objects substantially correct, by 
admitting their knowledge of the true and normal 
form of the family, by conceding to them a truly hu 
man appreciation of ethical excellences and obliga 
tions, by allowing to them a capacity to conceive of 
an almighty Supreme Spirit, the Author and right 
ful Governor of the world, and by recognizing that 
nearly all religions present clear traces of corrup 
tion. So far as principles are concerned these rep 
resentations surrender their whole case. With these 
data Adamic Revelation becomes quite as possible 
and quite as credible as Abrahamic, or Mosaic, or 
Christian Revelation. 

6. The Anlage for religion is no product of age 
long advances in civilization and in the arts. The 
unclad Adam of the garden was no more incapaci 
tated for the knowledge of his Father than was that 
naked second Adam, for whose advent Mary pro 
vided the swaddling-clothes. If the former seems 
too undeveloped to be an organ of divine revelation, 
the latter, the highest of all these organs, the abso 
lute Revelator, began quite as low. If nomad Arabs 
of to-day can see in storm and stars sublime mani* 


festations of one almighty personal Power, why could 
not the nomadic Abel as well ? If the Gospel mes 
senger of to-day can cause the rudest Fijian to know 
God and to experience a sense of divine forgiveness 
and favor, why may not God s earliest preachers of 
righteousness have produced a like effect on sincere 
souls before the .discovery of the art of metal-work 
ing ? Once let the anthropological and sociolog 
ical postulates demanded even by Herbert Spencer 
be granted, and the ancient historic conception of 
Primitive Monotheism becomes both possible and 
eminently reasonable. As an escape from the con 
flicting and mutually destructive theories of the nat 
uralistic school in its different departments, it pre 
sents, on merely speculative grounds, a positive 
attractiveness. Its full array of evidences, however, 
is simply co-extensive and identical with the evi 
dences for the reality of Historic Revelation as a 
whole. Everything which goes to show that God 
has intelligibly revealed himself to men at all bears 
more or less directly upon the credibility of a Reve 
lation " in the beginning? 

7. Lastly, the Arctic Eden completes the recon 
ciliation of Biblical and secular learning in their re 
lations to the problem of the primitive religion of 
men. As we have seen, both science and theology 
now find in this primeval Bildungsherd at the Pole 
the one prolific centre whence all the floral and 
faunal and human life-forms of the whole earth have 
proceeded. In an " environment" of such crea 
tively potent, world -overflowing nature - forces as 
were there, any culmination of life s manifestations 
short of a " Golden Race " of men, kingly in stature, 
Rishis in intelligence, measuring their Deva-Yike 


lives by centuries, would have been an incongruity. 
That a loving Creator creating because loving 
should have put himself into instant personal com 
munion with these highest of his creatures, moral 
natures fashioned in his own image and after his 
likeness, children of his love, is to a theist, even 
an ethnic theist, the only credible representation. 
That such a lusty race should have been open to 
temptation on the line of apparently innocent aspira 
tion after still higher perfections, that they should 
have desired to "be as gods," that they should have 
coveted experimental and personal knowledge of 
evil as well as of good, these are suppositions 
which no serious anthropologist will pronounce in 
admissible. That the actual revolt of such an order 
of moral agents from the true law and basis of its 
life should have carried into its subsequent historic 
developments consequences of profoundest import is 
as much a necessary implication of the law of hered 
ity and of the established constitution of nature as 
it is an instinctive inference from the preconceived 
character of a perfect Moral Governor. Given such 
antediluvian men, one must pronounce the history 
of antediluvian religion, as reported in the oldest 
memories and in the most sacred scriptures of hu 
manity, a self-attesting chronicle. 



It would be a valuable contribution to the Study of Civilization to have the ac~ 
tion of Decline and Fall investigated on a -wider and more exact basis of evidence 
than has yet been attempted. E. B. TYLOR. 

L orfut certainement le premier metal que Von connut. . . . Les trots ages des 
poetes, Page d or, Vage d airain, et Page de fer sont une realite, et non une fic 
tion. 1 - A. DB ROCHAS. 

BESIDES their philosophies of religion, the apostles 
of universal primeval savagery have also their Phi 
losophy of Human History and of Social Progress. 
First of all, they would have us believe that man has 
existed upon the Earth hundreds of thousands of 
years, 2 and that for at least the first hundred thou 
sand years, possibly for twice or thrice this period, 

1 Revue Scientifique, Paris, September 22, 1883. 

2 With an impressive attempt at accuracy Professor Mortillet 
says, "at least 230,000 to 240,000 years." Le Prehistorique, p. 
627. Haeckel says, " in any case more than 20,000 years," " prob 
ably more than 100,000 years," " perhaps many hundred thousand 
years." Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichtc, p. 595. Mr. John Fiske, 
building upon Croll, thinks that " the human race has covered both 
the eastern and the western hemispheres for thousands of centuries," 
and that the period during which man has possessed sufficient intelli 
gence to leave a traditional record of himself is " only an infinitesi 
mal fraction " of the time. In one passage he fixes on the period of 
" eight hundred thousand years," and at one time Lyell and others 
favored the same duration. Cosmic Philosophy, ii. 320, 295. Com 
pare on the other side Southall, The Recent Origin of Man, Phila., 
1875, ar| d The Epoch of the Mammoth and the Apparition of Man 
upon the Earfk, Phila., 1878. 


he lived like a wild beast in thickets and dens and 
caverns of the earth. 1 His one occupation was the 
struggle for existence. The very cave in which 
his wretched young were sheltered from the storm 
was continually exposed to invasion by the cave- 
hyena and the cave-bear, fiercer and more powerful 
than the modern type. His multitudinous enemies 
were all provided with offensive and defensive 
armor, with tusk and fang, with claw and beak, 
with lances steeped in never-failing deadliest poi 
sons. To every foe they could oppose an almost 
impenetrable hide, a mail of horny scales, a solid 
shell. He, by strangest anomaly, was destitute of 
all. He was a naked and defenseless babe in the 
Indian jungle of Earth s fierce and venomous car- 
nivora. He had not a weapon, not an implement 
with which to shape one. Even had he had imple 
ments ever so good, he would not have known 
enough to fashion himself the rudest club from the 
branch of a tree. He had not yet " learned to look 
up " to where the tree branches grew. " Habit as 

1 " In the dim mist of bygone ages our ancestors lived the life 
of wild beasts in forests and caves." Elisee Reclus, Ocean, Atmos 
phere^ and Life, vol. ii., p. 190. " We must assign to him the posi 
tion of a savage, but of a savage as far below the buffalo-hunting 
Pawnee as the latter is removed from the cultivated representative of 
the Caucasian race." Rau, Early Man in Europe. N. Y., 1876 : p. 
162. " On such a view " as that " of the modern naturalist, savage 
life itself is afar advanced condition." Tylor, Primitive Culture, vol. 
i-> P- 37- " All our recent investigations in Europe into the state of 
the arts in the earlier Stone Age lead clearly to the opinion that at a 
period many thousands of years anterior to the historical, man was 
in a state of great barbarism and ignorance, exceeding that of the most 
savage tribes of modern times! Lyell, Principles of Geology, vol. ii., 
p. 485. For a contrary view see the Duke of Argyll s chapter " On 
the Degradation of Man " in his Unity of Nature. London, 1884 : 
PP- 374-447- 


well as nature kept his eyes fixed upon the ground." 
As we saw in the preceding chapter, he supposed 
that " the branches of the trees extended quite to 
heaven, hiding themselves in infinitely remote 
ethereal regions." Indeed, according to some of 
these advocates, this precious "primitive man" could 
not distinguish a tree when he saw it. He was not 
at all certain that its outspreading roots and branches 
were not the legs and arms of a fellow-man who 
happened to grow in that particular way. So says 
a " generally-understandable-scientific lecturer " of 
Germany, Dr. Wilhelm Mannhardt. Let us note 
his exact statement : " However inconceivable it 
may be to us moderns, there truly was a time when 
people were unable to make any conceivable distinc 
tion between a plant and a man." 1 

It is somewhat to be feared lest writers of this 
sort have been a little precipitate in rejecting so de 
terminedly the traditional idea of extraordinary an 
tediluvian longevity. For if the earliest generations 
of mankind were in truth such idiotic specimens as 
here represented, the great problems as to the possi 
bility of their defending themselves against the blood 
thirsty and powerful carnivora by which they were 

1 " Alle lebenden Wesen, vom Menschen bis zur Pflanze, haben 
Geborenwerden, Wachsthum und Tod miteinander gemein, und diese 
Gemeinschaft des Schicksals mag in einer fernen Kindheitsperiode 
unsers Geschlechts so uberwaltigend auf die noch ungelibte Beobach- 
tung unserer Voraltern eingedrungen sein, dass sie darliber die Un- 
terschiede iibersahen, welche jene Schopfungsstufen voneinander tren- 
nen. So unbegreiflich es uns Modernen klingen mag, hat es in 
Wahrheit eine Zeit gegeben, in der man keinen begreiflichen Unter- 
schied zwischen einer Pflanze und einem Menschen zu machen wuss- 
te." Sammlung gemeinverstdndlicher wissenschaftlicher Vortrage, 
herausgegeben von Rudolf Virchow und Franz von Holtzendorff. Nro. 
239. Berlin, 1876. 


surrounded, and as to the possibility of their learning 
sufficiently early how to wring a subsistence from 
the unfriendly soil, must give place to the still more 
perplexing and more fundamental problem as to the 
possibility and credibility of primitive procreation 
itself. To say nothing of the question as to the 
whence of the very first of these feeble and down- 
looking intelligences, it is plain that if ever they 
did have successors to take up and carry forward 
and upward their type of life, in some way and at 
seme time within the natural life of the first individ 
uals, incredible as it may be " to us moderns," 
it must (happily for us) have dawned upon some 
man s mind, or on whatever then occupied the place 
of his mind, that between Daphne (or whoever was 
practically the first woman) and a tree some dis 
tinction was discernible. And as the friends who 
give us such witless ancestors are prodigal to a fault 
in their allowance of ages of time whenever any 
ordinary geological or zoological result is to be 
reached without troubling a Higher Power, it seems 
to a calm on-looker a very penurious and illogical, 
not to say cruel, procedure to require these embry- 
otic representatives of incipient humanity to create, 
or rather to evolve and bring to practicable perfec 
tion, the high arts and sciences of intelligent per 
ception, of human as distinguished from dendrolog- 
ical physiology, of gynecology and obstetrics, all 
within the few swift years of a modern human life 
time. With "two hundred and thirty thousand to 
two hundred and forty thousand years " at his com 
mand, or even " many hundred thousand," we really 
hope Dr. Mannhardt will see his way to reconsider 
this point, and to deal with the protistoi of the hu- 


man world in a more liberal and truly evolutionistic 
spirit. 1 

Happily, the apostles of what De Maistre calls 
the banale hypothesis of primeval savagery have 
done their worst, and doing this have shattered their 
own party into an indefinite number of mutually an 
tagonistic factions, each protesting against all who 
happen to be more thorough-going and radical than 
themselves. Thus Spencer is in array against Mc 
Lennan, Caspari protests against Mannhardt, Vogt 
endeavors to outdo Darwin, and so on to the end of 
the chapter. The modern Babel is worse than the 
ancient. To one surveying at the present time the 
different departments of science which relate to 
Man, it would seem as though in each the break 
down of the theory of primitive human brutishness 
and imbecility were complete, though not yet pub 
licly proclaimed and acknowledged. A review of 
the situation, with authentic citations of the dissen- 

1 There is some evidence that the geologists are becoming increas 
ingly skeptical as to the time-pieces relied upon by the ruling school 
of paleontological anthropologists. For example: "The present 
rates of the retrocession of Niagara, or of the deposit of Nile mud, or 
of stalagmite in caverns, or of the accumulations of the rocks them 
selves, or of the movement of glaciers, have been vainly used as natural 
chronometers, on the assumption that they have been going on at the 
same rate through all the past, and have been warranted never to stop, 
or to want winding up, or to go faster or slower than at the moment the 
observer was looking at them. Such attempts are so obviously futile 
that it is not a little strange to find them seriously made by men like 
Wallace and Mortillet." W. Boyd Dawkins, " Early Man in Amer 
ica." North American Re-view, Oct., 1883, p. 338. See also " The 
Niagara Gorge as a Chronometer," by G. Frederick Wright, in the 
Bibliotheca Sacra, and in the Am. Journal of Science for 1884. Still 
more significant is the alarmingly revolutionary " Opening Address " 
delivered last summer in Montreal before the Geological Section cf 
the British Association by President W. T. Blanford, F. R. S., and 
printed in Nature, Sept. 4, 1884, pp. 440 ff. 


tient and often contradictory utterances of represen 
tative leaders, would be most timely, but the task 
must be left to other and more competent hands. 
Here, foregoing all exposures of such a kind, we 
will simply suggest to the reader a few obviously 
important memoranda : 

1. Considered in the light of antecedent proba 
bilities, there is no discoverable reason, or apol 
ogy for a reason, why the first Homines should have 
been but half-witted, any more than those perfect 
Nautili which, ages earlier, with astounding skill 
navigated the old Silurian seas. 1 

2. Given Human beings, normally endowed at the 
beginning, and we see experience everywhere show 
ing how all the savagery of past and present history 
could easily and naturally have originated simply 
from disregard of natural and moral law. 

3. Given at the beginning nothing but Animal 
powers, and we find nothing in the whole range of 
experience, from the first dawn of history until now, 
paralleling or in any wise rendering intelligible the 
hypothetical biological legerdemain of Nature by 
which these zoologic powers were once, and once 
only, transmuted into Human. 2 

1 Since these pages were placed in the printer s hands the follow 
ing has appeared in the scientific journals : " A discovery by Dr. 
Lindstrom in the Silurian rocks of Gotland is worthy of special notice. 
In beds which are said to be the equivalent of our Niagara group 
he has discovered a remarkably well-preserved scorpion. Dr. Tho- 
rell, one of the foremost students of Arachnida in the world, and Dr. 
Lindstrom are preparing a paper upon it, and have given it the name 
of Paleophoneus nuncius. No scorpions, nor indeed any Arachnida, 
have before been found fossil in beds lower than the carboniferous 
deposits, in which some twenty-five species have been found in this 
country and Europe ; yet this Silurian example is more perfect than 
Q.ny specimen of a fossil scorpion from any formation" 

2 " That man, equally with the monad and the Conferva, owes his 


4. If Paleontology presents to us certain types of 
life which indicate in their successions a certain 
progress, it must not be forgotten that the same 
science presents us other types, whose successions 
with equal clearness reveal a progressive degeneracy 
and an ultimate disappearance. The movement 
may be forward, but it may also be backward. " As 
to the class Reptilia," says Sir Charles Lyell, "some 
of the orders which prevailed when the Secondary 
rocks were formed are confessedly much higher in 
their organization than any of the same class now 
living. If the less perfect Ophidians, or snakes, 
which now abound on earth had taken the lead in 
those ancient days among the land reptiles, and the 
Deinosaurians had been contemporary with Man, 
there can be no doubt that the progressionist would 
have seized upon this fact with unfeigned satisfac 
tion as confirmatory of his views. Now that the 
order of succession is precisely reversed, and that 

origin to a protoplasmic germ, in which are contained all the possi 
bilities of his after development, is no piece of scientific romance, 
but demonstrable truth. . . . All forms of protoplasm, however alike 
in appearance and composition science may and does declare them to 
be, are not identical in their potentialities. They do not, in other 
words, all possess similar powers of becoming similar organisms. 
The speck which remains an Amoeba has no power of evolving from 
its substance a higher form of life. The protoplasmic spore of a sea 
weed is a seaweed still, despite its similarity to other or higher forms 
of plant-germs. The germ of the sponge, again, remains possessed 
of the powers which can convert it into a sponge alone. And the 
differences between such protoplasmic specks and the germ which is 
destined to evolve the human frame can only be declared as of im 
mense extent, and as equaling in their nature the wide structural and 
functional distinctions which we draw betwixt the sponge and the 
man. Of such differences in the inherent nature of protoplasm un 
der different conditions we are as yet in complete ignorance." An 
drew Wilson, Ph. D., F. L. S., Chapters on Evolution. London, 1883 : 
9P- 74* 75- 


the age of the Iguanodon was long anterior to that 
of the Eocene palaeophis and the living boa, while 
the crocodile is in our own times the highest repre 
sentative of its class, a retrograde movement in this 
important division of the vertebrata must be admit 
ted." l With this agrees the emphatic declaration of 
Andrew Wilson : " A study of the facts of animal 
development is well calculated to show that life is 
not all progress, and that it includes retrogression 
as well as advance. Physiological history can read 
ily be proved to tend in many cases towards back 
sliding instead of reaching forwards and upwards to 
higher levels. This tendency, beginning now to be 
better recognized in biology than in late years, can 
readily be shown to exercise no unimportant influ 
ence on the fortunes of animals and plants." 2 In 
view of these facts of retrogression, the latest writers 
on the history of life on our planet, even when pro 
fessing, with the last-quoted author, to accept of 
Darwin s philosophy as true, are at the same time 
very generally saying, " It cannot be the whole 
truth." 3 

1 The Antiq^l^ty of Man , Philadelphia ed., p. 402. 

2 Andrew Wilson, Ph. D., F. L. S., Chapters on Evolution, p. 343 
(italics ours). See pp. 342-365. The progress of paleontological 
research is constantly bringing new illustrations to light. Revue Scien- 
tifique. Paris, 1884: p. 282. Even in our late age of the world 
" highly specialized forms of life are in fact numerically a minority of 
living beings." E. D. Cope, " On Archaesthetism," in the American 
Naturalist. Phila., 1882 : vol. xvi., p. 468. Compare same writer 
on "Catagenesis," in vol. xviii. (i884), pp. 970-984. 

3 What could be more striking and impressive than the following 
fresh testimony from this field : " The flora of the whole Paleozoic 
period ... is very distinct from that of succeeding times. Still, the 
leading families of Rhizocarpea, j&quisetacea, Lycopodiacece, Filicea, 
and Conifera, established in Paleozoic times, still remain, and the 
changes which have occurred consist mainly in the degradation of the 


5. Again, by the same testimony of the rocks, 
life need not, of necessity, either advance or retreat ; 
it may stand as first originated from age to age. 
Says Professor Nicholson, "There are various groups, 
some of them highly organized, which make their 
appearance at an extremely ancient date, but which 
continue throughout geological time almost un 
changed, and certainly unprogressive. Many of these 
Persistent Types are known, and they indicate that 
under given conditions, at present unknown to us, 
it is possible for a life-form to subsist for an almost 
indefinite period without any important modification 
of its structure." 1 

6. All arguments for the alleged self-evolution of 
the Human Race out of preceding animal races, 
based upon an alleged universal and uniformly pro 
gressive self-evolution of life-forms in the animal 
kingdom, are, in view of the above facts, arguments 
originating in ignorance or in fraud. 

7. According to the teachers of the current ag 
nostic anthropology and atheistic history, modern 
Man is the supreme product, the crowning glory, of 
the cosmic life-process, at least so far as our planet 
is concerned. Yet, by their own concessions, through 
all the unmeasured aeons during which this being 
has been maturing and perfecting, the Earth has 
steadily been losing its life-giving warmth, its once 
delightful and almost equable climate has slowly 

three first families, and in the introduction of new types of Gymno- 
sperms and Phaenogams. These changes, delayed and scarcely per 
ceptible in the Permian and Early Mesozoic, seem to have been greatly 
accelerated in the Later Mesozoic," Principal Dawson, " On the More 
Ancient Land Floras of the Old and New Worlds." Paper read be 
fore the British Association in Montreal, Aug. 1884. Nature, p. 527. 
1 Life-History of the Earth, p. 371, 2. 


given place to Sahara heat and Arctic cold, its once 
luxuriant flora has yielded to types of marked infe 
riority, and its degenerating fauna ceased to come 
up to the measure of the stature of preceding forms. 1 
This is saying that one and the same secular Deteri 
oration of Environment has devitalized and degraded 
all forms of life save one, but that, unaided and alone, 
it has elevated that one to the physical, intellectual, 
and spiritual kingship of the world. 2 

8. In proportion as the discussions and conclu 
sions of this treatise have vindicated and illustrated 
the trustworthiness of the most ancient Traditions 
with reference to the location of the first abode of 
the race, in precisely the same degree have they au 
thenticated and verified those same Traditions as 
trustworthy sources of information with respect to 
Man s primitive state, his intellectual powers, and 
his knowledge of the Divine. 

Finally, the varying Power of Man over Nature, 
dwindling whensoever by vice he descends beast- 
ward, increasing whensoever by virtue he ascends 

1 " The Pliocene period is the declining age of the European flora, 
the time when the climatic conditions are definitively altered, when 
the vegetation gradually becomes poor and ceases to gain anything. 
The progress of the phenomenon is slow, but it moves along an in 
clined plane, on which it never stops. Those ornamental plants, those 
precious trees, those noble and elegant shrubs, which are now care 
fully trained by artificial culture in European conservatories were 
until then inhabitants of Europe, but they left it forever. One by one 
the ostracised plants take their departure, lingering here and there on 
the road to exile. It is this exodus that we should have to describe, 
if we could follow step by step the march of retrogression, and indi 
cate species by species the progress and the result of this abandon 
ment of our soil." G. de Saporta, Le Monde des Plantes avant V Ap 
parition de FHomme. Noticed in Am. Journal of Science, 1879, p. 

2 See above, page 100, note. 


Godward, is to a truly scientific and philosophic eye 
full of significance. The slightest study of the man 
ifestations of this power in history inwardly convicts 
Us of unfaithfulness, as a race, to the true law of our 
being. We cannot help feeling that we ought to be 
lords of Nature. Our actual relation to the cosmic 
forces is not, and in historic time never has been, 
the ideal and true relation. It was no narrow- 
minded " bibliolater " who penned the following ex 
pression of this feeling ; it was Ralph Waldo Emer 
son : " As we degenerate, the contrast between us 
and our house is more evident. We are as much 
strangers in Nature as we are aliens from God. We 
do not understand the notes of birds. The fox and 
the deer run away from us ; the bear and the tiger 
rend us. . . . Man is a god in ruins. When men 
are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into 
the immortal as gently as we awake from dreams. 
Man is the dwarf of himself. Once he was perme 
ated and dissolved by spirit. At present he applies 
to Nature but half his force. . . . Meantime, in the 
thick darkness, there are not wanting gleams of a 
better light, occasional examples of the action of 
man upon Nature with his entire force. Such exam 
ples are the traditions of MIRACLES in the antiquity 
of all nations, the HISTORY OF JESUS CHRIST, the 
achievements of a principle in political revolutions, 
the miracles of enthusiasm, the wisdom of children. 
. . . The problem of restoring to the world original 
and eternal beauty is solved by the redemption of the 

The above is an utterance as true and deep as it 
is beautiful and poetic. And here in this ancient 
and Biblical conception of Man s relation to Nature 


is given the sun-clear solution of the whole contro 
versy between the advocates of universal racial and 
technological degeneration, on the one hand, and the 
advocates of universal racial and technological pro 
gression, on the other. Both parties are right and 
both are wrong. The one has vindicated and em 
phasized one vital class of facts ; the other, another 
class equally vital. Christian thought interprets and 
harmonizes them both. It shows us through all hu 
man history racial and social and technological deca 
dence wherever men have rejected or ignored God. 
It shows us, on the other hand, racial and social and 
technological progress wherever men have acknowl 
edged and lovingly served that Divine One in whom 
we live and move and have our being. Here, then, 
is the law of true human progress. As Emerson 
in his more Christian moods would put it, The res 
toration of the lost harmony between Man and his 
House must begin with the Redemption of his Soul. 
As to the primeval condition of our race, a truly 
scientific mind will wish to base its conception not 
on the air-hung speculations of mere theorists, but on 
an immovable foundation of fact, attested and con 
firmed by the widest, oldest, and most incontestable 
of all concurrences of divine and human testimony. 
According hereto, as in its beginning light was light, 
and water water, and the Spirit spirit, so in his be 
ginning Man was Man. It says that the first men 
could not have been men without a human con 
sciousness, and that they could not have had a hu 
man consciousness without rationality and freedom. 
It says that they could not have possessed con 
scious rationality and freedom without the percep 
tion of ethical qualities and the personal taste of 


moral experiences. It boldly asserts that, accord 
ing to every principle of just analogy, the notion 
that it took the earliest men one hundred thousand 
years to get an idea of the conditions of normal in 
tellectual, and ethical, and social living is as incredi 
ble as that it took the first-born mammal one hun 
dred thousand years to find its mother s milk. It 
calls attention to the fact that all the oldest historic 
peoples of every continent unite in the testimony 
that the first men had knowledge of superhuman 
personalities, good and evil. It dwells upon the 
equally universal tradition that primeval human life, 
while progressive in everything which accumulating 
human experience would of necessity improve, was 
yet from the first the life of decidedly super-bestial, 
almost god-like intelligences, as daring ultimately in 
evil as potent originally for good. It holds on the 
same authority that after centuries and possibly mil 
lenniums of such history as great natures undisci 
plined by virtue are ever reproducing, the social 
organism was incurably corrupted and the moral 
world-order itself defied. As Plato s Egyptian priests 
told Solon, " the divine portion in human nature 
faded out ; " the purely human " gained the upper 
hand," and, spoiled by the very excellence of their 
fortune, " men became unseemly. To him who had 
an eye to see they appeared base, and had lost the 
fairest of their precious gifts. They still appeared 
glorious and blessed, at the very time when they 
were filled with unrighteous avarice and violence. 
Then the GOD OF GODS, who rules with law, and is 
able to see into such things, perceiving that an hon 
orable race was in a most wretched state, and want- 
ing to inflict punishment upon them that they might 


be chastened and improved," made fresh announce 
ments of divine penalty and promise, to the end 
that haply He might recall them to that earlier and 
better life, when they had " despised everything but 
virtue, neither were intoxicated by luxury ; " when, 
being " possessed of true and great spirits, they prac 
ticed gentleness and wisdom in their intercourse 
with one another ; " when they " were obedient to 
the laws and well affectioned toward the gods." l 
These gracious endeavors of Divine compassion 
proving fruitless, the integrity of the world s ra 
tional purpose and significance could be conserved 
only by penalty, and by a new moral and physi 
cal conditioning of the race. No change of moral 
administration could suffice, since every wise appli 
ance of merefy moral influence and instruction had 
been exhausted. A new physical environment and 
conditioning was essential to the new moral methods 
which, in this critical juncture, Humanity was need 
ing. The inbringing of such a new physical envi 
ronment would of itself carry to human consciences, 
individual and social, the profoundest and most ef 
fectual of moral meanings. Both the physical and 
the moral change came in that world-convulsion 
which Plato calls "the Great Deluge of all." In it 
perished what Hesiod and Ovid and so many others 
called the " Golden Race " of men, the first, the 
fairest, the strongest, the longest-lived of all that 
ever bore the human form divine. Under its waters 
were engulfed precious accumulations of science, 
the primordial creations of art, the incunabula of all 
literature. So sore was this loss of man s costliest 
possessions that either myth or truthful history has 

1 Crifias, 1 20. 


filled the early Shemitic world with the pathetic 
story that the God of gods, while arranging for the 
righteous judgment upon the ungodly, Himself still 
so compassionated the successors and heirs of its 
unhappy victims as to command the patriarchal 
minister of His will to make an indestructible mon 
umental record of all that the progenitors of a new 
Humanity would need to know. 1 

The new physical conditions under which the 
race was placed were the conditions brought in by 
the Diluvian cataclysm. They involved (i) expa 
triation, the great Glacial Age compelling an entire 
abandonment of the mother-region of the human 
family ; (2) dispersion, the frozen and sterilized con 
dition of even what is now the North Temperate 
zone rendering the struggle for the means of subsist 
ence a most arduous and difficult one ; (3) deterio 
ration of physical constitution corresponding to the 
biological conditions of the new and deteriorated en 
vironment ; and (4), as a natural consequence of the 
whole, an abbreviation of the normal longevity pre 
viously enjoyed. Being at the same time reduced 
to the lowest social unit in the way of organization, 
the Family, and being, in consequence of the 
poverty of Nature s provision, compelled to spread 
in proportion as it multiplied, the new Humanity of 
" the world which now is " was signally guarded 
against the repetition of those insolent and God- 
defying forms of sin in consequence of which a 
nemesis of cosmical proportions had overtaken the 
antediluvian world. 2 

1 Josephus, Antiquities, i. 2, 3. Lenormant, Beginnings of His 
tory, p. 445. Polar " Sippara " and the " Siriad land " are one. 

2 The events described in Gen. xi. 1-9 may have occurred "in the 
Front-country" (v. 2). See above, page 221, note I. 


Such is the conception of primeval human history 
which the oldest traditions of the oldest nations 
set over against this late-born dream of " primitive 
savagery." It is the conception of the whole Chris 
tian world of the whole Jewish world of the 
Mohammedan world of the ancient Greek and 
Roman world of the world of the eldest Asiatic 
and Egyptian antiquity. It is the irrefutable Selbst- 
zetigniss of the Human Race respecting facts of 
which it has the knowledge of a living and most in 
terested participating witness. 1 

According to the results of this treatise the 
primitive seat of the world s first civilization was 
outside the boundaries of all lands known to record 
ed history. This being so, Mr. Tylor s confident 
challenge has for the present quite lost its force. 
"Where," he exclaims, "where now is the district 
of the Earth that can be pointed to as the primeval 
home of Man which does not show by rude stone 
implements buried in its soil the savage condition 
of its former inhabitants ? " 2 The " cave-men " of 
Europe can as little illustrate man s antediluvian 
condition as Robinson Crusoe s cave could illustrate 
Westminster Cathedral. Postdiluvian civilization, 
or barbarism, whichever one may choose to call it, 

1 " The men of old time . . . must surely have known the truth 
about their own ancestors. . . . How can we doubt the word ... as 
they declare that they are speaking of what took place in the family ? " 
Plato, Timaus, 40. It is satisfactory to note that that undervalua 
tion of oral tradition which is inseparable from the theory that man 
is merely an improved beast, and which shows its natural fruit in such 
free-handed reconstructors of history as Professors Kuenen and 
Wellhausen, has proceeded so far that even rejecters of the tradi 
tional estimate of the Pentateuch and of the Old Testament are be 
ginning to react restively against it. See APPENDIX, Sect. VII. 

2 Primitive Culture, vol. i., p. 60. 


may be studied in "Stone Age" implements and 
products wherever we may find them, but never 
should it be forgotten that, back of all dawnings of 
new knowledge and new arts here revealed, lay the 
fuller knowledge and the more perfect arts of a 
favored antediluvian world. 1 

Let no one say that the profession of such an 
opinion betrays the prejudice of a Christian educa 
tion ; that it is ignoring the fruits of a century s 
study ; that it is simply repristinating the doctrine 

1 In his late work, entitled India: What can it teach us? (Lon 
don, 1883) Professor Max Mtiller well challenges the first prin 
ciples of our dominant school of " Culture-students," as follows : 
" What do we know of savage tribes beyond the last chapter of their 
history ? Do we ever get an insight into their antecedents ? Can 
we understand what, after all, is everywhere the most important and 
the most instructive lesson to learn, how they have come to be what 
they are ? There is, indeed, their language, and in it we see traces of 
growth that point to distant ages, quite as much as the Greek of 
Homer, or the Sanskrit of the Vedas. . . . Unless we admit a special 
creation for these savages they must be as old as the Hindus, the 
Greeks, and Romans ; as old as we ourselves. We may assume, of 
course, if we like, that their life has been stationary, and that they 
are to-day what the Hindus were no longer than three thousand 
years ago. But that is a mere guess, and is contradicted by the facts 
of their language. They may have passed through ever so many 
vicissitudes, and what we consider as primitive may be, for all we 
know, a relapse into savagery, or a corruption of something that was 
more rational and intelligible in former stages. Think only of the 
rules that determine marriage among the lowest of savage tribes. 
Their complication passes all understanding. All seems a chaos of 
prejudice, superstition, pride, vanity, and stupidity. And yet we 
catch a glimpse here and there that there was some reason in most 
of that unreason ; we see how sense dwindled away into nonsense, 
custom into ceremony, ceremony into force. Why, then, should this 
surface of savage life represent to us the lowest stratum of human 
life, the very beginnings of civilization, simply because we cannot dig 
beyond that surface ? " A hundred years hence the story that the 
wise men of the nineteenth century sought to reconstruct the begin 
nings of human history by the study of the lowest contemporary 
savages will be one of the choicest of popular illustrations of the 
folly of " ante-scientific times." 


of a forgotten Goguet, and seeking to resurrect the 
long dead Banier. If any reader is tempted to such 
utterances, it is possible that an imaginary conversa 
tion may help him to juster conclusions. 

Let us fancy ourselves at Cnossus, upon the 
shores of Crete, hundreds of years before the Chris 
tian era. A traveler has just landed, a Greek 
from Athens, intent upon visiting the celebrated 
temple and cave of Zeus. As he is walking to the 
temple he falls in with two companions, the one an 
intelligent Cretan, the other a traveler from Lace- 
daemon. After due salutations they naturally dis 
course of the laws and institutions of the country, 
of their origin, and of the origin of all states and 
laws and civilizations. And this we may imagine is 
a part of their conversation : 

The Athenian : Do you believe that there is any 
truth in ancient traditions ? 

The Cretan : What traditions ? 

Ath. The traditions about the many destructions 
of mankind which have been occasioned by deluges 
and diseases, and in many other ways, and of the 
preservation of a remnant. 

Cr. Every one is disposed to believe them. 

Ath. Let us imagine one of them : I will take 
the famous one which was caused by a Deluge. 

Cr. What is to be remarked thereon ? 

Ath. I should say that those who then escaped 
would only be hill shepherds, small sparks of the 
human race preserved on the tops of mountains. 
Such survivors would necessarily be unacquainted 
with the arts of those who live in cities, and with 
the various devices which are suggested to them by 
interest or ambition, and all the wrongs which they 
contrive against one another. 


Cr. Very true. 

Ath. Let us suppose, then, that the cities in the 
plains and on the sea-coast were utterly destroyed 
at that time. Would not all implements perish and 
every other excellent invention of political or any 
other sort of wisdom utterly fail at that time ? 

Cr. Why, yes ; and if things had always con 
tinued as they are at present ordered, how could 
any discovery have ever been made even in the least 
particular ? For it is evident that the arts were un 
known during thousands and thousands of years. 
And no more than a thousand or two thousand 
years have elapsed since the discoveries of Dae 
dalus, Orpheus and Palamedes, since Marsyas 
and Olympus invented music, and Amphion the lyre, 
not to speak of numberless other inventions 
which are but of yesterday. 

Ath. Have you forgotten the name of a friend 
who is really of yesterday ? 

Cr. I suppose that you mean Epimenides. 

Ath. The same, my friend ; for his ingenuity does 
indeed far overleap the heads of all your great men ; 
what Hesiod had preached of old, he carried out in 
practice, as you declare. 

Cr. Yes, according to our tradition. 

Ath. After the great destruction, may we not 
suppose that the state of man was something of 
this sort. In the beginning of things there was a 
fearful illimitable desert and a vast expanse of land ; 
a herd or two of oxen would be the only survivors 
of the animal world ; and there might be a few 
goats, hardly enough to support the life of those 
who tended them. 

Cr. True. 


Ath. And of cities or governments or legislation, 
about which we are now talking, do you suppose 
that they could have any recollection at all ? 

Cr. They could not. 

Ath. And out of this state of things has there not 
sprung all that we now are and have : cities and 
governments, and arts and laws, and a great deal of 
vice and a great deal of virtue ? 

Cr. What do you mean ? 

Ath. Why, my good friend, how can we possibly 
suppose that those who knew nothing of all the 
good and evil of cities could have attained their full 
development, whether of virtue or of vice ? 

Cr. I understand your meaning, and you are quite 

Ath. But, as time advanced and the race multi 
plied, the world came to be what the world is. 

Cr. Very true. 

Ath. Doubtless the change was not made all in 
a moment, but little by little, during a very long 
period of time. 

Cr. That is to be supposed. 

Ath. At first they would have a natural fear ring 
ing in their ears which would prevent their descend 
ing from the heights into the plain. 

Cr. Of course. 

Ath. The fewness of the survivors would make 
them desirous of intercourse with one another ; but 
then the means of traveling either by land or by sea 
would have been almost entirely lost with the loss of 
the arts, and there would be great difficulty in getting 
at one another ; for iron and brass and all metals 
would have become confused, and would have dis 
appeared ; nor would there be any possibility of ex- 


tracting them ; and they would have no means of 
felling timber. Even if you suppose that some im 
plements might have been preserved in the moun 
tains, they would quickly have worn out and disap 
peared, and there would be no more of them until 
the art of metallurgy had again revived. 

Cr. There could not have been. 

Ath. In how many generations would this be at 
tained ? 

Cr. Clearly not for many generations. 

Ath. During this period, and for some time after 
wards, all the arts which require iron and brass and 
the like would disappear. 

Cr. Certainly. 

Ath. Faction and war would also have died out 
in those days and for many reasons. 

Cr. How would that be ? 

Ath. In the first place, the desolation of these 
primitive men would create in them a feeling of af 
fection and friendship towards one another ; and, 
in the second place, they would have no occasion 
to fight for their subsistence, for they would have 
pasture in abundance, except just at first, and in 
some particular cases ; on this pasture-land they 
would mostly support life in a primitive age, having 
plenty of milk and flesh, and procuring other food 
by the chase, not to be despised either in quantity 
or quality. They would also have abundance of 
clothing, and bedding, and dwellings, and utensils 
either capable of standing on the fire or not ; for 
the plastic and weaving arts do not require any use 
of iron : God has given these two arts to man in 
order to provide him with necessaries, that, when 
reduced to their last extremity, the human race may 


still grow and increase. Hence in those days man 
kind were not very poor ; nor was poverty a cause 
of difference among them ; and rich they could not 
be, if they had no gold or silver, and such at that 
time was their condition. And the community 
which has neither poverty nor riches will always 
have the noblest principles, there is no insolence 
or injustice; nor, again, are there any contentions 
or envyings among them. And therefore they were 
good, and also because they were what is called 
simple-minded ; and when they were told about 
good and evil, they in their simplicity believed what 
they heard to be very truth and practiced it. No 
one had the wit to suspect another of a falsehood, 
as men do now ; but what they heard about gods 
and men they believed to be true and lived accord 
ingly ; and therefore they were in all respects such 
as we have described them. 

Cr. That quite accords with my views, and with 
those of my friend here. 

Ath. Would not many generations living on in a 
simple manner, although ruder, perhaps, and more 
ignorant of the arts generally, and in particular of 
those of land or naval warfare, and likewise of other 
arts, termed in cities legal practices and party con 
flicts, and including all conceivable ways of hurting 
one another in word and deed ; although inferior to 
those who lived before the Deluge, or to the men of 
our day in these respects, would they not, I say, be 
simpler and more manly, and also more temperate, 
and in general more just? The reason has been 
already explained. 

Cr. Very true. 

Ath. I should wish you to understand that what 


has preceded and what is about to follow has been, 
and will be, said with the intention of explaining 
what need the men of that time had of laws, and 
who was their lawgiver. 

Cr. And thus far what you have said has been 
very well said. 

Ath. They could hardly have wanted lawgivers as 
yet ; nothing of that sort was likely to have existed 
in their days, for they had no letters at this early 
stage ; they lived by habit and the customs of their 
forefathers, as they are called. 

Cr. Probably. 

Ath. But there was already existing a form of 
government which, if I am not mistaken, is gener 
ally termed a lordship, and this still remains in 
many places, both among Hellenes and barbarians, 
and is the government which is declared by Homer 
to have prevailed among the Cyclopes : 

" They have neither councils nor judgments, but 
they dwell in hollow rocks on the tops of high 
mountains, and every one is the judge of his wife 
and children, and they do not trouble themselves 
about one another." 

Cr. That must be a charming poet of yours ; I 
have read some other verses of his, which are very 
clever ; but I do not know much of him, for foreign 
poets are little read among the Cretans. 

The Laced&monian. But they are in Lacedaemon, 
and he appears to be the prince of them all ; the 
manner of life, however, which he describes is not 
Spartan, but rather Ionian, and he seems quite to 
confirm what you are saying, tracing up the ancient 
state of mankind by the help of tradition to bar 


Ath. Yes ; and we may accept his witness to the 
fact that there was a time when primitive societies 
had this form. 

Cr. Very true. 

Ath. And did not such states spring out of single 
habitations and families who were scattered and 
thinned in the devastations ; and the eldest of them 
was their ruler, because with them government orig 
inated in the authority of a father and a mother, 
whom, like a flock of birds, they followed, forming 
one troop under the patriarchal rule and sovereignty 
of their parents, which of all sovereignties is the 
most just ? 

Cr. Very true. 

Ath. After this they came together in greater 
numbers, and increased the size of their cities, and 
betook themselves to husbandry, first of all at the 
foot of the mountains, and made inclosures of loose 
walls and works of defense, in order to keep off wild 
beasts ; thus creating a single large and common 

Cr. Yes ; at least we may suppose it. 

Ath. There is another thing which would prob 
ably happen. 

Cr. What? 

Ath. When these larger habitations grew up out 
of the lesser original ones, each of the lesser ones 
would survive in the larger ; every family would be 
under the rule of the eldest, and, owing to their sep 
aration from one another, would have peculiar cus 
toms in things divine and human, which they would 
have received from their several parents who had 
educated them, and these customs would incline 
them to order, when the parents had the element of 


order in them ; and to courage, when they had the 
element of courage in them. And they would natu 
rally stamp upon their children, and upon their chil 
dren s children, their own institutions ; and, as we 
are saying, they would find their way into the larger 
society, having already their own peculiar laws. 

Cr. Certainly. 

Ath. And every man surely likes his own laws 
best, and the laws of others not so well. 

Cr. True. 

Ath. Then how we seem to have stumbled upon 
the beginnings of legislation ! 

Cr. Exactly. 

Ath. The next step will be that these persons who 
meet together must choose some arbiters, who will 
inspect the laws of all of them, and will publicly pre 
sent such of them as they approve to the chiefs who 
lead the tribes, and are in a manner their kings, and 
will give them the choice of them. These will them- 
selves be called legislators, and will appoint the mag 
istrates, framing some sort of aristocracy, or perhaps 
monarchy, out of the dynasties or lordships, and in 
this altered state of the government they will live. 

Cr. Yes, they would be appointed in the order 
which you mention. . . . 

But we will not pursue the conversation farther. 
Is the reader indignant that he has been made to 
listen so long to Abbe Banier, clumsily disguised in 
the robes of a pretended Athenian philosopher and 
discoursing, all out of character, on matters which 
betray "the prejudices of a Christian education"? 
It may well be. To a reader of Lubbock and Tylor 
and Vogt, the sentiments of the Athenian traveler 
do seem singularly in accord with Holy Scripture. 


But let not the innocent suffer for the guilty. It 
happens that our imaginary conversation is not of 
our imagining. It was written more than two thou 
sand years before the birth of Abbe Banier, and by 
as good a pagan as the famed Athenian Plato. 

On the whole, we are of the opinion that the 
great consentaneous Traditions of the Human Race 
will yet outlive a considerable number of Bachofens 
and Biichners and Buckles, and that if ever the bur 
ial-place of Moses shall be discovered, it will not be 
found to be in any of the ignominious graveyards 
periodically prepared for him by on-coming Profes 
sors of Hebrew eager for a stunning inaugural. De 
spite the ingenious " higher " criticism of to-day s 
ephemeral "authorities," the Biblical scholarship of 
the future is more likely to carry the age of the 
composition of the Eden story backward than for 
ward. The documents embedded in the opening 
chapters of Genesis may yet prove to be, what rev 
erent and orthodox scholars have already affirmed 
fragments of the Sacred Scriptures of the Ante 
diluvian Patriarchal Church. 1 Whether so or no, one 
ancient word shall evermore be verified : " The grass 
withereth, the flower fadeth ; but the word of our 
God shall stand forever." 

Our treatise opened with a pathetic picture, it 
must close with another. Long-lost Eden is found ; 
but its gates are barred against us. Now, as at the 
beginning of our exile, a sword turns every way to 
keep the Way of the Tree of Life. 

1 Moffat : Comparative History of Religions. New York, 1871 : 
vol. i., pp. 99 seq. 


Sadder yet, it is Eden no longer. Even could 
some new Columbus penetrate to the secret centre 
of this Wonderland of the Ages, he could but hur 
riedly kneel amid a frozen desolation and, dumb 
with a nameless awe, let fall a few hot tears above 
the buried and desolated hearthstone of Humanity s 
earliest and loveliest home. 

Happily for us, O Menschengeschlecht, a trusty 
hand has added to the third of Genesis the closing 
chapters of the Patmos Apocalypse. The thought 
of the old forever evanished Eden is henceforth 
bearable, for from afar we have caught the vision of 
a Sinless Paradise, the frostless Gardens, the Tree, 
and the River of the Heavenly City of God. 

fa, wenn des Nordwinds rauhes Tosen 
Der Erde Garten zugeschneit, 
Dann bliihen erst des Himmels Rosen 
In unverwelkter Herrlichkeit. 
y#, sind wir Gdste hier zu Landen 
Auf dieser kalten Winterflur, 
So ist noch eine Ruh vorhanden 
Dem Seufzen aller Kreatur. 




(Illustrating pp. 3-7 ; 306, 307.) 

THE following authentic account of the views enter 
tained by Columbus respecting the figure of the Earth 
will be welcome to many readers : 

" I have always read that the world comprising the 
land and the water was spherical, and the recorded expe 
riences of Ptolemy and all others have proved this by the 
eclipses of the moon and other observations made from 
East to West, as well as the elevation of the Pole from 
North to South. But as I have already described, I have 
now seen so much irregularity, that I have come to an 
other conclusion respecting the Earth, namely, that it is 
not round as they describe, but of the form of a pear, 
which is very round except where the stalk grows, at 
which part it is most prominent ; or like a round ball 
upon part of which is a prominence like a woman s nipple, 
this protrusion being the highest and nearest the sky, sit 
uated under the equinoctial line, and at the eastern ex 
tremity of this sea. ... In confirmation of my opinion, 
I revert to the arguments which I have above detailed 
respecting the line, which passes from North to South a 
hundred leagues westward of the Azores ; for in sailing 
thence westward, the ships went on rising smoothly to 
wards the sky, and then the weather was felt to be milder, 
on account of which mildness the needle shifted one point 


of the compass ; and the further we went, the more the 
needle moved to the Northwest, this elevation producing 
the variation of the circle which the North-star describes 
with its satellites ; and the nearer I approached the equi 
noctial line the more they rose and the greater was the 
difference in these stars and in their circles. Ptolemy 
and the other philosophers who have written upon the 
globe thought that it was spherical, believing that this 
[western] hemisphere was round as well as that in which 
they themselves dwelt, the centre of which was in the 
island of Arin, which is under the equinoctial line be 
tween the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Persia ; and the 
circle passes over Cape St. Vincent in Portugal westward, 
and eastward by Cangara and the Seras ; in which 
hemisphere I make no difficulty as to its being a perfect 
sphere as they describe; but this western half of the 
world I maintain is like half of a very round pear, hav 
ing a raised projection for the stalk, as I have already 
described, or like a woman s nipple on a round ball. 
Ptolemy and the others who have written on the globe 
had no information respecting this part of the world, 
which was then unexplored ; they only established their 
own hemisphere, which, as I have already said, is half of 
a perfect sphere. And now that your Highnesses have 
commissioned me to make this voyage of discovery, the 
truths which I have stated are evidently proved, because 
in this voyage, when I was off the island of Hargin l and 
its vicinity, which is twenty degrees to the North of the 
equinoctial line, I found the people black and the land 
very much burnt ; and when after that I went to the Cape 
Verde Islands I found the people there very much darker 
still, and the more southward we went, the more they ap 
proach the extreme of blackness ; so that when I reached 
the parallel of Sierra Leone, where, as night came on, the 
North star rose five degrees, the people there were exces- 
1 Arguin, west coast of Africa. 


sively black, and as I sailed westward the heat became ex 
treme. But after I had passed the meridian or line which 
I have already described, I found the climate became 
gradually more temperate ; so that when I reached the 
island of Trinidad, where the North star rose five degrees 
as night came on, there, and in the land of Gracia, I 
found the temperature exceedingly mild ; the fields and 
the foliage likewise were remarkably fresh and green, and 
as beautiful as the gardens of Valencia in April. The 
people there are very graceful in form, less dark than 
those whom I had before seen in the Indies, and wear 
their hair long and smooth ; they are also more shrewd, 
intelligent, and courageous. The sun was then in the sign 
of Virgo over our heads and theirs ; therefore all this 
must proceed from the extreme blandness of the temper 
ature, which arises, as I have said, from this country be 
ing the most elevated in the world and the nearest to the 
sky. On these grounds, therefore, I affirm that the globe 
is not spherical, but that there is the difference in its 
form which I have described ; the which is to be found 
in this hemisphere at the point where the Indies meet the 
ocean, the extremity of the hemisphere being below the 
equinoctial line. And a great confirmation of this is, that 
when our Lord made the sun, the first light appeared in 
the first point of the East, where the most elevated point 
of the globe is." Hakluyt Society Publications. Select 
Letters of Columbus. Tr. by R. H. Major. London, 2d 
ed., pp. 134-138. 



How has the human race been able to spread itself 
over the whole surface of the globe ? Is it the result 
of different and independent origins in the several con- 


tinents, or have all men sprung from a common cradle, a 
" mother-region " ? On this point students are divided, 
Agassiz holding that men were created, and Carl Vogt 
that they were developed, at different centres, and Qua- 
trefages and the theologians maintaining the unity of 
their origin. The fact is left that man, the same in all 
the essential characteristics of the species, has advanced 
into all the habitable parts of the globe, and that not re 
cently and when provided with all the resources that 
experience and inventive genius could put at his disposal, 
but when still young and ignorant. It was then that, 
weak and almost naked, having only just got fire and a 
few rude arms with which to defend itself and procure 
food, the human race conquered the world and spread it 
self from within the Arctic Circle to Terra del Fuego, 
from the Samoyed country to Van Diemen s Land, from 
the North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope. It is this 
primitive exodus, as certain as it is inconceivable, ac 
cepted by science as well as by dogma, that we have to 
explain, or at least to make probable ; and that in an age 
when it is only after the most wonderful discoveries, by 
the aid of the most powerful machinery for navigation, 
through the boldest and most adventurous enterprises, 
that civilized man has been able to flatter himself that he 
has at last gone as far as infant man went in an age that 
is so far removed from us as to baffle all calculations. 

We must insist on this point, for it brings into light an 
obstacle which those who have tried to trace out the con 
nection between widely separated races and to determine 
the course that had been followed by tribes now separated 
by oceans and vast expanses have hitherto found insur 
mountable ; for, if man is one to which we are ready 
to agree we must assign a single point of departure 
for his migrations. In these migrations, man has gone 
wherever he could, and, at every spot he has occupied 
and settled, has acquired characteristics peculiar to the 


place, and which differentiated him from the men settling 
in other places. Hence the varieties of human races. 
Some of these spots seem to have been peculiarly favor 
able to his advancement, and became centres of civiliza 
tion. The number of such centres is, however, very 
limited, and their distribution is significant. 

The continental masses are distributed in three prin 
cipal groups, one feature in the configuration of which 
must strike every one who carefully examines a map of 
the world. It will be noticed that they are so expanded 
toward the North as to touch in that direction or be sep 
arated only by narrow passages, and that they also sur 
round within the Arctic Circle a central polar sea with a 
bordering island-belt. Going down toward the South we 
find that the three continents, North America, Europe, 
and Northern Asia, which had approached each other so 
closely, give place to three appendages, South America, 
Africa, and Australia, which in their turn gradually taper 
off to mere points in an illimitable sea, long before they 
reach the Antarctic Circle. Within this circle the con 
figuration of the land is precisely the reverse of that in 
the North j it is that of a solid cap of land around the 
pole, in the midst of the great ocean. 

If we again observe these masses, we shall find that 
civilization was born in each of them under similar geo 
graphical conditions, viz., in the neighborhood of a smaller 
interior sea, near or rather North of the tropic of Cancer, 
between 20 and 35 north latitude. The most eastern 
of the centres is in China, near the Japan Sea. The 
most western, and apparently the most recent, was along 
the inner shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The last civili 
zation was in the course of radiation and transformation 
when the Europeans came to America, and was wholly 
independent and autonomous ; but, weak and relatively 
new, it was not able to resist the sudden onset of a 
stronger race. 


Toward the centre of the space whose extremes we 
have marked out must be placed two other centres of 
civilization, more ancient than either of the two already 
named, and in the same zone of latitude Egypt, in the 
valley of the Nile, and near the Arabian Gulf, and Meso 
potamia, near the head of the Persian Gulf. Thus, each 
continental mass had its particular centre of civilization, 
except Asia, which had two one in the extreme east, 
the other near the line which joins it to Europe. This 
peculiar grouping of the chief centres of civilization in 
such a relation of neighborhood constitutes the most con 
siderable paleoethnic fact that we are able to record. 
The Nile and the Syrian sea on the west, upper Armenia 
and the Caspian on the north, the Hindoo-Koosh and 
the Indus on the east, and the Arabian Sea on the south, 
bound the region where Cushites, Semites, and Aryans, 
the first farmers, workers, and founders of cities, the sec 
ond pastoral people, and the third mountaineers, after 
ward emigrants and conquerors, met, elbowed each other, 
and mingled, conquerors and conquered by turns, invent 
ing arts and the use of metals, learning arms and how to 
organize themselves hierarchically, reaching their ideal 
through religion, and having in writing the most power 
ful instrument at the disposition of human intelligence. 
With them we have the beginning of history, and a con 
tinuous chain of social organizations, down to our own 
days. The growth of civilization in these centres leaves, 
however, still unaccounted for the diffusion of mankind 
all over the earth, which took place at a period far an 
terior to it. 

The spread of man throughout Europe and Asia does 
not offer very great difficulties, for, in consequence of the 
long distance for which the two continents are joined, 
Europe is in reality only a dependency of Asia ; and oc 
cupation of Europe from Asia is conformable to religious 
traditions. The difficulties are, however, formidable 


when we come to America, which we find occupied from 
one end to the other by races whose unity has struck the 
best observers. Not only, moreover, did the American 
man inaugurate on the soil of the New World an original 
and relatively advanced civilization, but he has left, 
chiefly in the North, indisputable traces of his presence 
in the most remote ages. Paleolithic implements have 
been found in the valley of the Delaware, at Trenton, 
New Jersey, and near Guanajuato in Mexico, so clearly 
characterized that they cannot be mistaken, the situation 
of which at the base of the Quaternary alluvions and 
their coexistence with elephants and mastodons indicate 
the existence of a race contemporaneous with that of the 
gravels of the Somme, having the same industry and 
doubtless the same manners and physical traits. Whence 
could this primitive American race, sister to the one that 
lived in Europe at the same date, have come, unless we 
suppose a direct communication between the two conti 
nents ? The difficulty such men would have in crossing 
the Atlantic and the certainty which soundings give of 
the antiquity of the ocean remove all possibility of our 
believing either that the two continents were formerly 
joined, or that one of them was discovered by some un 
known Columbus navigating the ocean a hundred thou 
sand years before the later one. 

We are thus in the presence of the problem, always 
coming up before us, and always escaping us, of the or 
igin of the American man. Evidently it cannot be re 
solved by invoking an accidental colonization of Asiatic 
wanderers, or a shipwrecked company ; but it is one in 
which we have to deal with primitive populations flowing 
as in Europe by successive waves, and attesting the con 
tinuous presence of man, whose gradual development and 
extension have followed in America the same course as 
on the old continent. The hypothesis of an immigration 
from Asia by way of the Aleutian Islands to Alaska 


might be acceptable, did not the certainty of the presence 
of an indigenous American population in the Quaternary 
age reduce it to the proportions of a secondary fact. 
The same is the case with the relations contradictory, 
it is true, and therefore suspicious which some have 
attempted to establish between the monuments, statues, 
and graphic signs of Central America and those of 
Egypt and Buddhistic Asia. These analogies, aside from 
their insufficiency, must fall before two paramount con 
siderations : first, the certainty of the contemporaneous 
ness of the American man with the great animals of the 
Quaternary age ; and, second, the relative uniformity of 
the copper-colored race, so like itself through the whole 
extent of the continent, except in that part which is oc 
cupied by the Esquimaux. The difficulty arises from the 
fact that the monogenists, having in view a single birth 
place and a single point of departure for the whole hu 
man race, and placing neither in the New World, have 
supposed America to have been colonized by European 
or Asiatic immigrants following the direction of the par 
allels of latitude. Emigration in this direction at once 
meets an obstacle in the oceans, which grow wider the 
farther South we go. The obstacle disappears if we give 
up the idea of lateral emigrations, and suppose the move 
ment to have taken place in the direction of the merid 
ians from North to South. No obstacle of any kind offers 
itself to such migrations ; and the relative uniformity of 
the Americans, from one end of the continent to the 
other, would never have excited astonishment, if we had 
not been preoccupied with the idea of their introduction 
at a later date. 

We may remark, on this topic, that the extreme south 
ern points of the three continents are occupied by races 
which came originally, without doubt, from somewhere 
else, and which are ranked, in Terra del Fuego, at the 
Cape of Good Hope, and in Tasmania, among the lowest 


of the species. These races, advancing in front of the 
others, have preserved the visible stamp of the relative 
inferiority of the stock from which they were prematurely 
detached. We have to believe, in effect, that these three 
branches Fuegians, Bushmen, and Tasmanians so 
little elevated in their physical, intellectual, and moral 
traits, have gone and planted themselves so far away 
only because the unoccupied space opened out before 
them. Scouts for the rest of mankind, they have reached, 
step by step, the extreme limits of the habitable land. 
They must have occupied for the moment, at least, the 
parts of the intermediate space, but they could not resist 
the push of the stronger races, and they could not have 
survived to our time, except under the condition of re 
striction to a small area in the most remote tract of their 
original domain. There is nothing surprising in the fact 
that MM. Quatrefages and Hamy, having described the 
most ancient European race of which we have the skulls, 
that of Canstadt, should have found its analogies only 
among these same natives of the extreme South the 
Bushmen and the Australians. 

It will be seen that we are inclined to remove to the 
circumpolar regions of the North the probable cradle of 
primitive humanity. From there only could it have radi 
ated as from a centre, to spread into several continents 
at once, and to give rise to successive emigrations toward 
the South. This theory agrees best with the presumed 
march of the human races. It remains to be shown that 
it is equally in accord with the most authentic and most 
recent geological data, and that, besides man, it is appli 
cable to the plants and animals which accompanied him, 
and which have continued to be most closely associated 
with him in the temperate regions which afterward became 
the seat of his civilizing power. 

The general laws of geogony favor this hypothesis in a 
remarkable manner. To make it seem probable, we have 


only to establish two essential points that will not be 
seriously contested by any geologist. One is, that the 
polar regions, which were covered with large trees, en 
joyed a climate more temperate than that of Central 
Europe, and were habitable and fertile to the eightieth 
degree, underwent a slow and progressive cooling down 
till the middle of the Tertiary period. Thence refrigera 
tion made rapid progress till the ice gained exclusive 
possession of the country south of them. Under such 
circumstances, man as well as the animals and plants 
would have to remove or perish to emigrate step by 
step, or find himself reduced to a daily more precarious 
state of existence. 

The second point is the relative stability of the exist 
ing continental masses, and of their distribution around a 
sea occupying the Arctic Pole ; while the other Pole was 
occupied with a cap of land surrounded by an immense 
ocean. The importance of the Arctic Pole in respect to 
the production of animals and plants, and to their migra 
tions, and the nullity of the other hemisphere in relation 
to this feature result from such a grouping. The essen 
tial point is, that there is nothing capricious in such an 
arrangement of lands and seas, and that there have been, 
if not always, at least from a very ancient period, emerged 
lands occupying a considerable part of the northern hem 
isphere, advancing very far toward the Pole, and describ 
ing around the Arctic Sea a belt of more or less contigu 
ous countries and islands. This is, in effect, what geol 
ogy teaches. The changes, immersions, and emersions 
have never been anything but partial and successive, 
while the skeletons of the continents go back to the most 
remote ages. There have always been a Europe, an 
Asia, an America, and Arctic lands. We know certainly 
that there have always been around the Arctic Pole ex 
tensive territories, if not continents, long the home of the 
same plants as the rest of the globe, and that, beginning 


with an epoch that corresponds with the end of the 
Jurassic, the climate, at first as warm there as elsewhere, 
has tended gradually to become colder. The depression 
of temperature was at first manifested very slowly, and 
was far from having attained its present degree in the 
Tertiary ; for the trees that then grew in Greenland the 
sequoias, magnolias, and plane-trees now attain their 
full development in Southern Europe, and are not suited 
with the climate of Central Europe. We are, then, as 
sured of the ancient existence, near the Arctic Pole, of a 
zone of lands covered with a rich vegetation. The perma 
nent existence of a polar sea is none the less attested by 
fossils from all parts of the region. The neighborhood 
of the Pole was long habitable, and inhabited by man in 
a time near that in which the vestiges of his industry be 
gin to show themselves alike in Europe and America. 
In passing thus from the Arctic lands to those bordering 
on the polar circle, and through the latter into Asia, 
Europe, and America, man would only have taken the 
road which a host of plants and animal followed, either 
before him or at the same time, and under the stress of 
the same circumstances. 

It is, in fact, by the aid of migrations from the neigh 
borhood of the Pole that we can generally explain the 
phenomenon of scattered or disjoined species, a phenom 
enon identical with the one which man of the Old World 
and man of the New World present when they are com 
pared. Combining present notions with the indications 
furnished by the fossils, we discover numerous examples 
of disjunction in which -allied forms, often hardly dis 
tinguishable, have been distributed at the same time in 
scattered regions, at extremely remote points in the 
boreal hemisphere, without any apparent connection 
along the parallels, to explain the common unit. Europe 
attests by undeniable fossils that it had formerly a host 
of vegetable types and forms that are now American, 


which it could have received only from the extreme North. 
It had, for example, magnolias, tulip-trees, sassafras, 
maples, and poplars, comparable in all respects to those 
which grow in the United States. The two plane-trees, 
that of the West and that of Asia Minor, to which we 
may add an extinct fossil European plane-tree, illustrate 
the same phenomenon of dispersion. Europe in the 
Tertiary period witnessed the growth of a ginko similar 
to the one in the north of China. It had sequoias and a 
bald cypress corresponding with the trees of those names 
that are now growing in California and Louisiana. The 
beech seems to have been growing in the Arctic circum- 
polar zone before it was introduced and extended through 
out the northern hemisphere. The same is doubtless the 
case with the hemlock, of which distinguishable traces 
have been found in Grinnell-land, above the eighty-sec 
ond degree of latitude, of a date much earlier than that 
of its introduction into Europe. The well-established 
presence in both continents of many animals peculiar to 
the northern hemisphere must be attributed to emigra 
tions, if not from the Pole, at least from countries con 
tiguous to the polar circle. This is obvious in the case 
of the reindeer, bison, and stag; but it ought to be 
equally true in respect to animals of more ancient times, 
and although we have no other direct proofs of it than 
the abundance of the remains of mammoths in upper Si 
beria, the same law doubtless includes the elephants and 
mastodons. We mean here the species of these two 
genera which were propagated from the North to the 
South, and were, in America and Europe, the companions 
of primitive man. The connection of the continental 
masses with their belt of hardly discontinuous lands 
around the polar circle gives the key to all these phe 
nomena. The cause on which they depend would be con 
stantly producing radiations and consequently disjunc 
tions of species and races, whatever kingdom we may 


Before leaving the questions that touch on the pre 
sumed origin of man, we cannot refrain from speaking of 
the relations which it has been sought to establish be 
tween him and the pithecan apes. Primitive man, ac 
cording to some authors of the transformist school, was 
an anthropomorphic ape, perfected physically as to his 
walk and erect attitude, intellectually by the development 
of his cranial capacity, till the moment when reasoning, 
or the faculty of abstraction and the power of using artic 
ulate language, took in him the place of instinct. Nu 
merous and undeniable anatomical or physiological anal 
ogies of the human body and those of the more highly 
organized monkeys, which have no tails nor callosities on 
their paws, and whose faces and ways have something 
singularly human, favor this system, at least in appear 
ance. The pithecans have, however, other contiguities 
than purely human ones. Their ways are rather analo 
gous than directly assimilable to those of man ; with 
other adaptations, they seem to have followed a wholly 
different course of evolution. They are essentially climb 
ers, while man is exclusively a walker, and has always 
been predisposed to the erect position. The highest 
monkeys, the anthropomorphous apes, walk badly and 
with difficulty. When they leave the trees in which they 
live, their position is a stooping one, and they bend down 
their toes so as not to touch the ground with the soles of 
their feet. We have, then, reason not to admit the simian 
origin of man without decisive proofs. Moreover, the 
pithecans seem to have been evolved in an inverse direc 
tion from man. Rejoicing in the heat, they perish rapidly 
when brought into the temperate zones, and this is espe 
cially the case with the anthropoid apes. Thus, while 
man, coming from the North, advances toward the South 
only when the depression of temperature favors his prog 
ress in that direction, the monkeys, to which a strong 
heat is a vital element, were developed in an age when 


Europe had a sub-tropical climate, and disappeared from 
that continent as soon as the climate became temperate, 
so that their departure concides with the arrival of man. 
They fled South to find the heat they needed, precisely 
when the diminution of the heat opened to man the 
region from which it excluded his predecessors. The 
necessity of placing the cradle of the pithecans in a hot 
country enables us to separate the monkeys of the East 
ern and Western continents into two distinct groups, 
marked by differences in dentition important enough to 
oblige us to assume an extreme antiquity for their sep 
aration. Both are descended from the lemurians, now 
represented only in Madagascar, but of which early Ter 
tiary fossils are found in Europe. The most recent 
lemurians in Europe are found at the end of the Eocene. 
It is later, in the Miocene, and that not the lowest, that 
we meet pithecans similar to those of the equatorial zone 
of the Eastern continent. At this epoch, which was 
nearly that of Oeningen and the Mollassic Sea, which 
divided Europe from East to West, a subtropical climate 
still prevailed in the centre of the continent, and the 
palm-trees extended up into Bohemia, along the northern 
banks of the great interior sea. By favor of this tem 
perature the monkeys occupied Europe to near the forty- 
fifth degree, but without going above it, to disappear for 
ever as soon as it became cool enough for men and 

The Mesopithecus Penteliti, of which M. Gaudry has dis 
covered twenty-five individuals at Pikermi, was small, 
walked on its four paws, and lived on twigs and leaves. 
The Dryopithecus of St. Gaudens had the characteristics 
of the highest anthropomorphs, with the bestial face of 
the gorilla ; but it is to this animal that M. Gaudry is in 
clined to attribute the flints, intentionally chipped, ac 
cording to the Abbe Bourgeois, of the Beauce limestone, 
at Thenay in the St. Gaudens geognostic horizon. The 


Pliopithecus of Sansan (Gers) resembles a gibbon. To 
find the present analogues of the Pliopithecus and Dryo- 
pithecus of Miocene Europe, it is necessary to go across 
the tropic of Cancer to about 12 North latitude, or more 
than thirty degrees South of the locality of these fossils. 
If, as is probable, the same interval existed between the 
perimeter frequented by the European anthropomorphs 
and the natal region in which man was originally con 
fined, we shall find the latter in the latitude of Greenland, 
at 70 or 75. This is indeed an hypothetical calcula 
tion, but it is based on a double argument hard to refute. 
We can reach almost the same conclusion by a little 
different reasoning. The abundance of large-flaked in 
struments in the contiguous valleys of the Somme and the 
Seine marks the existence at that point of external con 
ditions evidently favorable to the diffusion of man, whose 
race was then multiplying for the first time. The flora 
of that epoch, as observed near Fontainebleau, indicates 
the presence of conditions similar to those now existing 
in the south of France, near the forty-second degree of 
latitude. Now, to reach, starting from the forty-second 
degree, the nearly tropical regions where palm, camphor, 
and southern laurel trees are associated together, we have 
to go twelve or fifteen degrees South, to the thirtieth or 
twenty-eighth degree of latitude, where we see the same 
climatological conditions existing as prevailed in Miocene 
Europe when it was hardly warm enough for the anthro 
pomorphic apes. Between these conditions and those 
which seem to have been first favorable to the growth of 
the human race there existed a space of twelve or fifteen 
degrees of latitude. But when palm-trees were growing 
near Prague, and camphor-trees grew as far North as 
Dantzic, man, if he existed then, might have lived with 
out inconvenience beyond or around the Arctic Circle, 
within equal reach of North America and Europe, which 
he was destined to people. Translated for the Popular 
Science Monthly from the Revue des Deux Mondes. 



As indicated in the text, the view of Ancient Cosmol 
ogy presented in chapter first of Part fourth is entirely at 
variance with that of all our standard authorities. Pro 
fessor Packard, of Yale College, remarks, "If it is true, 
all our books and maps are wrong, and we must admit 
that all scholars have been mistaken in their understand 
ing of the ancient records." In like manner, one of the 
foreign periodicals editorially observes, " If it is correct, 
a most striking proof is given of the possibility of many 
successive generations of archaeologists, scientists, and 
scholars failing to catch the entire drift and spirit of an 
cient legends and literature in their cosmic teachings 
and relations." Under these circumstances the ordinary 
reader seems entitled to some further information before 
being asked to give it his adherence. 

The new view, then, was first published in the columns 
of "The Independent," New York, August 25, 1881. In 
March of the following year a second and enlarged edi 
tion appeared in " The Boston University Year Book," 
vol. ix. Soon after a third edition was issued as a pam 
phlet by Messrs. Ginn and Heath, of Boston. In each 
case it was entitled " The True Key to Ancient Cosmol 
ogy and Mythical Geography," and was illustrated by the 
diagram which stands as frontispiece to this work. 

Copies of the paper in each of its successive editions 
were promptly forwarded usually with a brief personal 
note to the most competent scholars in the universities 
of Athens, Rome, Berlin, Leipsic, Heidelberg, Bonn, 
Leyden, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bel 
fast, and Dublin. As might be expected an interesting 
and varied correspondence ensued. Of many of the let 
ters the writer does not feel that he has the right to 


make any public use ; but in printing the following ex 
tracts he believes that he violates no proprieties. 

A. H. Sayce, of the University of Oxford, one of the 
most distinguished of living professors of Comparative 
Philology, after reading a preliminary sketch, wrote to 
the author as follows : 

Provisionally, I may say that your view seems to me emi 
nently reasonable and likely to clear up several difficulties. 
Certainly it throws light on the voyage of Odysseus, more 
particularly on the visit to Hades. 

I look forward to the appearance of your book, which will 
be of great value to students of the past. 

In more recent communications Professor Sayce has 
used still stronger expressions of personal acquiescence. 

The following are all from letters written before the 
publication of " Homer s Abode of the Dead." 

Right Hon. William E. Gladstone, author of "Ho 
meric Studies," "Juventus Mundi," "Homeric Synchro 
nism," etc. : 

I have received with much interest and pleasure the com 
munications you have been good enough to address to me on 
the Homeric Cosmology. Very long ago I became convinced 
that Homer proceeded, not on the idea commonly assigned to 
him, of the earth as a plane, but on the conception of a spher 
ical or convex surface. My views have long been set forth : 
fundamentally, I am at one with you, and when (if ever) my 
time of leisure shall arrive, I shall try to learn whether, in the 
points where you differ from or go beyond me, you have not 
been the more thorough and accurate of the two. 

Robert K. Douglas, of the British Museum, and Pro 
fessor of Chinese in King s College, London : 

I read your Key with great interest ; and, without having 
made any special study of the subject, I must say that to my 
mind it explains most satisfactorily the Homeric Cosmology. 

Richard Dacre Archer-Hind, Fellow of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, England : 


I must say that your explanation of ancient cosmology 
seems to me very simple and natural. It certainly throws a 
flood of light upon several points which were before very ob 
scure. I am glad to hear that it is approved by so distin 
guished an Orientalist as Dr. Rost, Librarian of the India Of 
fice, London. 

C. P. Tiele, D. D., Professor of the History of Relig 
ions in the University of Leyden, Holland : 

After perusing your paper a second time, I cannot but ex 
press my opinion that your hypothesis is very plausible and 
ingenious. The conception of the world as a sphere is not so 
young as is generally thought. ... I think you are right in 
identifying the wide Olympus with the highest heaven. . . . 
Your description agrees very well with the ancient cosmogra 
phy of the Babylonians. With you I am satisfied that there 
is no real difference between mythical Olympus and heaven, 
and that all earthly Olymps (as there are several of them) are 
only localizations of the same heavenly abode of the gods. 

Howard Crosby, D. D., LL. D., ex-Chancellor of the 
University of New York : 

Your Key to Ancient Cosmology is to me most satisfactory. 
I believe you have made a valuable discovery. 

W. D. Whitney, LL. D., Professor of Sanskrit and Com 
parative Philology, Yale College : 

I have looked with some care through your exposition of 
your view respecting the ancient conceptions of the cosmos, 
and find it very ingenious and suggestive, and worthy of care 
ful comparison with the expressions of ancient authors on the 

Dr. Charles R. Lanman, Professor of Sanskrit, Har 
vard University : 

The Key I have read once more, and think it is very simple, 
ingenious and adequate for the explanation of a great variety 
of heretofore perplexing allusions. 

W. S. Tyler, D. D., LL. D., Professor of the Greek 
Language and Literature, Amherst College : 


Permit me to thank you for the paper. Perhaps no one key 
will unlock all the chambers of the labyrinth of ancient cos 
mology and mythical geography. But I believe yours comes 
the nearest to it of any that has yet been found. 

William A. Packard, Professor of the Latin Language 
and Literature, College of New Jersey, Princeton : 

Dr. Warren s pamphlet gives the result of ingenious and 
able research, which claims very careful consideration. It 
does seem to act very widely as a solvent in interpreting an 
cient cosmogonies. Its elucidation of Homeric expressions is 
very striking. 

Stephen D. Peet, Editor of " American Antiquarian 
and Oriental Journal : " 

I believe that you have struck a very rich field in your pam 
phlet on the ancient cosmology. I have long surmised that 
there was something back of the astrology of the ancients 
which had exerted a great influence on the religious concep 
tions, and even on the literary and speculative thoughts of the 
ancients, but have to thank you for putting together the facts 
so as to discover the key. 

J. Henry Thayer, D. D., late Professor of Greek and 
N. T. Interpretation, Andover Theological Seminary, 
now Professor of the same in Harvard University Divin 
ity School : 

Allow me to express my great interest in your Key to An 
cient Cosmology. It gives one a sense of relief amounting 
to satisfaction at its very first perusal. I shall take great in 
terest in teaching it. 

James Freeman Clarke, D. D., author of "Ten Great 
Religions," etc. : 

It seems to me to throw much light on many passages in 
the classic writers. ... I cannot help thinking that your view 
will be a key to unlock many obscure passages. 

The seven following extracts fairly illustrate the mass 
of the communications received since the publication of 
" Homer s Abode of the Dead," which paper was issued in 


advance of the present volume simply as a further illus 
tration of the correctness and utility of "The True Key." 
Each is from the pen of a European scholar of first rank, 
and the last of them from one of the most widely known 
of German Egyptologists. Not having as yet permission 
to use the names of the writers, they are here withheld. 

I thank you very much for sending me the " Boston Univer 
sity Year Book," containing your interesting article on the 
Underworld of Homer. 

Homeric interpretation long and (I think) absurdly placed 
the way to the Underworld in the West ; but I am glad at 
least to acknowledge that from the West that is, from you 
and your country much light has been thrown upon the Un 
derworld of Homer. 

In 1868 I went a long way, in a work then published, to 
wards the doctrine that the entrance to the Underworld was 
beneath the solid earth-mass, as, in 1858, I had endeavored 
to destroy the prevailing notion about the road by the West. 

I regard with amazement the mass of false interpretations 
of Homer which a quarter of a century ago I found prevail 
ing, and of which I think we are gradually getting rid. 

One very great source of aid has been the opening up of 
Egyptian and Assyrian knowledge, and from this quarter I 
believe that more aid will yet be drawn. 

With you I think that the supposed inconsistencies of 
Homer about the Underworld are really ascribable wholly, or 
in the main, to his interpreters. 

Many thanks for your letter and for the interesting paper in 
the " Boston University Year Book " which has followed it. 
The illustration of your theory which is furnished by the Voy 
age of the Egyptian Sindbad is very striking, and must be 
most gratifying to you. I can find no objection to your view 
except those suggested by the original meaning of the words 
Amenti and Erebos (Assyrian eribu = ^erebh) ; and I am 
therefore inclined to subscribe to all that Professor Tiele has 
written you in regard to it. That in Homer the earth is sup 
posed to be a sphere, with Olympos above and Tartaros below, 
clears up every difficulty. 


I read your paper with great interest and pleasure. Now 
again you have put your favorite thesis so clearly and forcibly 
that I incline more and more to your opinion. I only wait, 
before surrendering, for some leisure to go accurately over the 
principal facts and citations. 

I have read your paper with great interest. Your ex 
planation makes things clear, at any rate, though I must read 
the Odyssey again before venturing to affirm that you see 
things as Homer saw them. 

Accept my best thanks for your "Year Book" for 1883, 
with its excellent and interesting dissertation upon " Homer s 
Abode of the Dead." Not being a Homerologist, I am hardly 
entitled to express an opinion, but your argument seems to me 

Your paper has an especial interest for me, inasmuch as it 
shows that there was less difference between the cosmography 
of Homer and the cosmographies of his successors than we 
had been brought to suppose. (The modest writer of the fore 
going is one of the most eminent Hellenists of Cambridge, 

I have to thank you for your new contribution to our 
knowledge with reference to the conceptions of the ancients 
as to the shape of the earth. Your paper on the " Navel of 
the Earth " is full of interesting and important information. 
My only doubt is whether the time has come for such wide 
generalizations as you propose. However, our science wants 
centrifugal as well as centripetal forces, and a discoverer must 
not be afraid of places marked " Dangerous." 


Freundlichen Dank fiir Ihre giitigen Zeilen und den sie 
begleitenden interessanten Aufsatz. Ihre Hypothese ist hochst 
iiberraschend, und wiirde, sollte sich ihre Richtigkeit auf ganz 
feste Fiisse stellen lassen, in der That mit einem Male Ord- 
nung in eine besonders krauss verwirrte Frage bringen. . . . 
Sobald es Ihnen nachzuweisen gelingt, dass in der Volksvor- 
stellung der Griechen aus friiherer Zeit die Erde kugelformig 


war, werden Sie die Schlacht gewonnen haben, und Niemand 
wird es fiirder wagen diirfen die Stimme gegen Ihre Ansicht 
zu erheben. Es will mir nicht unmoglich scheinen, Spuren 
solcher Anschauung zu finden, zumal da die Egypter ganz 
gewiss schon friih Kenntniss von der Kugelgestalt der Erde 
besassen. . . . Trotz dieser Bedenken hat mich Ihr Aufsatz 
lebhaft interessirt. Leider werde ich aus Gesundheitsriick- 
sichten den Orientalisten-Congress zu Leyden nicht besuchen 
diirfen ; es sollte mich aber freuen, wenn die von Ihnen so 
geistreich angeregte interessante Frage wahrend desselben 
zur Discussion kame. 

More and more decided are the latest verdicts of Amer 
ican scholars. The following are a half dozen specimens 
from a considerable collection. 

The Rev. A. P. Peabody, D. D., LL. D., Professor 
Emeritus in Harvard University : 

I have read not only with pleasure, but also with profit, your 
essay on Homer s "Abode of the Dead." Your theory ac 
cords with my impression, and makes that impression before 
vague and with less than sufficient reason definite and well 

C. C. Everett, D. D., Dean of the Theological Faculty 
of Harvard University, and Professor of Comparative 
Theology : 

So far as Homer is concerned, your view is certainly fitted 
to remove grave difficulties. 

J. R. Boise, D. D., LL. D., Professor in the Baptist 
Union Theological Seminary, Chicago : 

The able and learned article on Homer s "Abode of the 
Dead " has interested me deeply, and I believe your view is 
the correct one. 

Edwin Post, Ph. D., Professor of Latin, Indiana As- 
bury University, Greencastle, Ind. : 

I have recently re-read your monograph on Ancient Cos* 


mology, and I am more and more convinced that your startling 
hypothesis will be verified more and more by comparative 

George Zabriskie Gray, S. T. D., Dean of the Episco 
pal Theological School, Cambridge, Mass. : 

I have read your treatise with great interest, and desire to 
thank you for your work. It seems to me that your theory 
meets the test of all theories, that of accounting for the facts 
that cannot otherwise be reconciled. Besides thus reconcil 
ing the statements of ancient authors regarding the world and 
the underworld, your theory enables us to see in their writings 
many new and fruitful suggestions regarding matters hitherto 
unnoticed and unsuspected. Trusting that this treatise may 
receive the attention and currency which it so eminently de 
serves, I remain, etc., etc. 

Rev. A. B. Hyde, D. D., Professor of Greek in Alle 
gheny College, Meadville, Pa. : 

I seem to have found in you a guide in a " mighty maze." 
Homer has been so long waiting, not for an observer, but for 
some one to teach us how to observe, a seer to show us how 
to see. The more I reflect upon your scheme of his cosmol 
ogy, the more I am struck with its beauty and accuracy ; that 
is, its harmony with the Homeric utterances. 

The following does not exactly belong in this place, 
but, coming from an inspired prophet of God, it seems 
entitled to a somewhat exceptional treatment. The writ 
er s name indicates a Polish nationality, and his peculiar 
use of the German language somewhat confirms the sup 
position that he was not to the manner born. His au 
thoritative announcement of the early restoration at the 
North Pole of the " curseless " primeval Paradise is well 
calculated to relieve any undue melancholy into which 
any of our converts, meditating upon the lost Eden, may 
chance to fall : 

KONIGSBERG, IN PREUSSEN, den 2*en Mai, 1884. 

Staunen lese ich heute in der hiesigen Hartungschen Zeitung 
folgende Mittheilung : " Die Lage des Paradieses ausfindig zu 
machen, das ist jetzt das Thema um welches sich das Ge- 


sprach in den eleganten Salons der geistigen Aristokratie Bos 
ton s, des amerikanischen Athens dreht, seitdem Professor 
Dr. Warren der dortigen Universitat, in einer langen wissen- 
schaftlichen Abhandlung bewiesen, dass nur allein am Nord- 
pol das Paradies gelegen haben kann. Den Einwand wie ein 
Mensch am Nordpol bei solcher Kalte Adam heitzen konnte, 
widerlegt der fromme und gelehrte Mann dadurch, dass es je- 
denfalls friiher dort warmer gewesen sei. Dr. Warren ist sehr 
dafiir, eine Expedition auszuschicken, um seine auf wissen- 
schaftliche Voranssetzungen gestiitzte Schlussfolgerungen zu 

Diese Mittheilung ist mir aus folgendem Grimde eine freu- 
dige-interessante weil, wie Sie es glauben, dass am Anfange 
der Menschheit das fluchlose Paradies am Nordpol stattgefun- 
den, ich es glaube, dass ein solch fluchloses und noch herrlich- 
eres Paradies eben auch daselbst am Nordpol in nicht ferner 
Zukunft stattfinden wird. 

Ich bitte Sie nun ergebenst, Ihre diese Wissenschaft be- 
treffenden Griinde mir ehestens gefalligst mittheilen zu wollen, 
um zu ersehen, ob diese Ihre Griinde diese wichtigen Vergan- 
genheits-Zustande betreffend, mit den meinigen, die eine noch 
wichtigere Zukunft betreffen, auf eben demselben Standpunkt 
der heiligen Schrift und der Geographic beruhen. Ich bin 
kein Studirter der Weltwissenschaft, also auch nicht der Ge 
ographic, und ebenso wenig ein menschlich Studirter der The- 
ologie, jedoch aber ein " gottlich-studirter " Theologe. Kraft 
dieser meiner gottlichen Ausbildung oder unmittelbar von 
Gott mir gegebenen Offenbarung die auch Blicke in die 
Tiefen der Gottheit mitsichfuhrt, ist auch dieses bis vor ein- 
igen Jahren verborgen gewesene Geheimniss der nahen Zu 
kunft mir entsiegelt in Uebereinstimmung der heiligen Schrift 
und der Geographic. 

Auf diese religiose und natiirliche Wahrheit sicher mich 
stiitzend und berufend, bin ich mit Ihrer Anschauung ganz 
iibereinstimmend, dass am Nordpol das in Folge des Siinden- 
falles zerstorte Paradies stattgefunden hat. 

Ich hoffe dass wir beiderseits auf dem Grunde dieser un- 
serer Uebereinstimmung in nahere Bekanntschaft mit einan- 
der nach Gottes Wohlgefallen kommen werden. In diesem 
Vertrauen zu I linen erwarte ich eine baldige Erfiillung meiner 
eben an Sie gerichteten Bitte, mit Hochachtung, 




(Illustrating pp. 129-733 ; 148-154; 183, etc.) 

THAT the mythological cosmos of the modern Hindus 
was originally constructed upon the basis of a geocentric 
system of the planetary heavens I cannot doubt. Its 
" concentric oceans " are simply the interplanetary spaces 
mythologically pictured and described. Its "concentric 
continents " are those invisible solid, concentric, " crys 
talline spheres " which revolved about the common axis 
of the Pythagoreo-Ptolemaic universe, and were presided 
over by the different visible planets. In both systems 
the Earth is not only the centre of the planetary revo 
lution, but also the centre of each planetary sphere itself. 
How entirely incorrect the flat-world interpretation or 
dinarily given us is 1 could hardly be more forcibly shown 
than it is in the following extract : " Priya Vrata, by the 
wheel of whose car the Earth [or better, the World] was 
divided into seven continents, had thirteen male chil 
dren. Six of these embraced an ascetic life ; the rest 
ruled the seven divisions of the Earth [World.] To Ag- 
nidhra was assigned the Jambu-dwipa [the Earth] ; to 
Medhatithi, Plaksha; to Vapushmat, Salmali ; to Jyotish- 
mat, Kusa ; to Dyutimat, Krauncha ; to Bhavya, Saka ; 
and to Savala, Pushkara. With the exception of the 
sovereign of Jambu each of the six other kings is said to 
have had seven sons, among whom he divided his king 
dom into seven equal parts. These seven divisions in each 
of the six continents are separated by seven chains of 
mountains and seven rivers lying breadthwise, and placed 
with such inclinations with respect to one another that if a 
straight line be drawn through any chain of mountains or 

1 See picture in Dr. Scudder s Tales for Little Readers about the 
Heathen. New York, 1849 : P- 4^ 


rivers and its corresponding mountains or rivers on the other 
continents, and produced toward the central island, it would 
meet the centre of the Earth. 1 l 

All Puranic descriptions of the Earth are by no means 
consistent with each other, but the following from the 
Vishnu Purana can readily be understood if read in the 
light of the illustrative cuts already given : 

Parasara. You shall hear from me, Maitreya, a brief 
account of the earth. A full detail I could not give you 
in a century. 

The seven great insular continents are Jambu, Plaksha, 
Salmali, Kusa, Krauncha, Saka, and Pushkara ; and they 
are surrounded, severally, by seven great seas, the sea 
of saltwater (Lavana), of sugar-cane juice (Ikshu), of wine 
(Sura), of clarified butter (Sarpis), of curds (Dadhi), of 
milk (Dugdha), and of fresh water (Jala). 

Jambu-dwipa is in the centre of all these. And in the 
centre of this (continent) is the golden mountain Meru. 
The height of Meru is eighty-four thousand Yojanas ; and 
its depth below (the surface of the earth) is sixteen 
(thousand). Its diameter at the summit is thirty-two 
(thousand Yojanas), and at its base sixteen thousand ; 
so that this mountain is like the seed-cup of the lotos of 
the earth. 

The boundary mountains (of the earth) are Himavat, 
Hemakiita, and Nishadha, which lie south (of Meru) ; 
and Nila, weta, and Sringin ; which are situated to the 
north (of it). The two central ranges (those next to 
Meru, or Nishadha and Nila) extend for a hundred thou 
sand (Yojanas, running east and west). Each of the oth 
ers diminishes ten thousand (Yojanas, as it lies more 
remote from the centre). 2 They are two thousand (Yo- 

1 Babu Shome, " Physical Errors of Hinduism." Selections from 
the Calctitta Review, No. xv., April, 1882. 

2 In our diagram of the Hindu Varshas, p. 152, the length of the 
outer partition-ranges diminishes at about the rate here required. 
In the only other I have ever seen, one shown me by Professor 


janas) in height, and as many in breadth. The Varshas 
(or countries between these ranges) are : Bharata (India), 
south of the Himavat mountains ; next, Kimpurusha, 
between Himavat and Hemakiica ; north of the latter, 
and south of Nishadha, is Harivarsha : north of Meru is 
Ramyaka, extending from the Nila or blue mountains to 
the Sweta (or white) mountains ; Hiranmaya lies between 
the Sweta and Sringin ranges ; and Uttarakuru is beyond 
the latter, following the same direction as Bharata. Each 
of these is nine thousand (Yojanas) in extent. 

Ilavrita is of similar dimensions, but in the centre of 
it is the golden mountain Meru ; and the country extends 
nine thousand (Yojanas) in each direction from the four 
sides of the mountain. There are four mountains in this 
Varsha, formed as buttresses to Meru, each ten thou 
sand Yojanas in elevation. That on the east is called 
Mandara ; that on the south, Gandhamadana ; that on 
the west, Vipula ; and that on the north, Suparswa. On 
each of these stands severally a Kadamba-tree, a Jambu- 
tree, a Pippala, and a Vata ; each spreading over eleven 
hundred (Yojanas, and towering aloft like) banners on 
the mountains. From the Jambu-tree the insular con 
tinent Jambu-dwipa derives its appellation. The apples 

Max Miiller in a modern Sanskrit tractate, whose author s name I 
regret to have lost, all the ranges were represented as parallel 
with the Nila and Nishadha. Moreover, as the whole surface of 
Jambu-dwipa was represented as a circular flat disk, the second of the 
two successive outer ranges was much more than the required one 
tenth shorter than its predecessor. Besides this, Jambu-dwipa is re 
peatedly described in this same Purana as a globe, and should be so 
treated in all graphic representations. 

Postscript. Since the above was written a long search for Capt. Wil- 
ford s diagrams in vol. viii. of the Asiatic Researches (London, 1808) 
has been crowned with success. His perpetual vacillation between 
what he considers the primitive and proper flat earth of " the Pau- 
ranics " and the spherical earth of the astronomers is the chief source 
of his manifold embarrassments. A second and subordinate source 
of endless trouble is his effort to interpret mythical geography in the 
terms of geography actual. 


of that tree are as large as elephants. When they are 
rotten they fall upon the crest of the mountain ; and 
from their expressed juice is formed the Jambu river, the 
waters of which are drunk by the inhabitants; and, in 
consequence of drinking of that stream, they pass their 
days in content and health, being subject neither to per 
spiration, to foul odors, to decrepitude, nor organic decay. 
The soil on the banks of the river, absorbing the Jambu 
juice, and being dried by gentle breezes, becomes the 
gold termed Jambunada (of which) the ornaments of the 
Siddhas (are fabricated). The country of Bhadraswa 
lies on the east of Meru, and Ketumala, on the west; 
and between these two is the region Ilavrita. On the 
east (of the same) is the forest Chaitraratha ; the Gan- 
dhamadana (wood) is on the south ; (the forest of) Vai- 
bhiaja is on the west ; and (the grove of India, or) Man- 
dana is on the north. There are also four great lakes, 
the waters of which are partaken of by the gods, called 
Arudoda, Mahabhadra, Asitoda, and Manasa. 

The principal mountain ridges which project from the 
base of Meru, like filaments from the root of the lotos, 
are, on the east, Sitanta, Mukunda, Kurari, Malyavat, 
and Vaikanka ; on the south, Trikiita, Sisira, Patanga, 
Ruchaka, and Nishadha; on the west ikhivasas, Vai- 
durya, Kapila, Gandhamadana, and Jarudhi ; and on the 
north Sankhakuta, &ishabha, Hamsa. Naga, and Kalan- 
jara. These and others extend from between the inter 
vals in the body, or from the heart, of Meru. 

On the summit of Meru is the vast city of Brahma, ex- 
tending fourteen thousand leagues, and renowned in 
heaven ; and around it, in the cardinal points and the 
intermediate quarters, are situated the stately cities of 
Indra and the other regents of the spheres. The capital 
of Brahma is inclosed by the river Ganges, which, issu 
ing from the foot of Vishnu, and washing the lunar orb, 
falls, here, from the skies, and after encircling the city 


divides into four mighty rivers flowing in opposite direc 
tions. These rivers are the 3ita, the Alakananda, the 
Chakshu, and the Bhadra. The first, falling upon the 
tops of the inferior mountains, on the east side of Meru, 
flows over their crests, and passes through the country of 
BhadrasVa, to the ocean. The Alakananda flows south, 
to (the country of) Bharata, and, dividing into seven 
rivers on the way, falls into the sea. The Chakshu falls 
into the sea, after traversing all the western mountains 
and passing through the country of Ketumala. And the 
Bhadra washes the country of the Uttarakurus, and emp 
ties itself into the northern ocean. 

Meru, then, is confined between the mountains Nfla 
and Nishadha (on the north and south), and between 
Malyavat and Gandhamadana (on the west and east). It 
lies between them, like the pericarp of a lotos. 

The countries of Bharata, Ketumala, Bhadras wa, and 
Uttarakuru lie, like leaves of the lotos of the world, ex 
terior to the boundary mountains. Jathara and Deva- 
kiita are two mountain ranges, running north and south, 
and connecting the two chains of Nfla and Nishadha. 
Gandhamadana and Kailasa extend, east and west, eighty 
Yojanas in breadth, from sea to sea. Nishadha and Pari- 
yatra are the limitative mountains on the west, stretch 
ing, like those on the east, between the Nfla and Nis 
hadha ranges. And the mountains Trisfinga and Ja- 
rudha are the northern limits (of Meru), extending, east 
and west, between the two seas. Thus I have repeated 
to you the mountains described by great sages as the 
boundary mountains, situated in pairs on each of the 
four sides of Meru. 

Those also which have been mentioned as the fila 
ment mountains (or spurs), 3itanta and the rest, are ex 
ceedingly delightful. The valleys embosomed amongst 
them are favorite resorts of the Siddhas and Charanas. 
And there are situated upon them agreeable forests and 


pleasant cities, embellished with the palaces of Lakshmi, 
Vishriu, Agni, Siirya, and other deities, and peopled by 
celestial spirits ; whilst the Yakshas, Rakshasas, Daityas } 
and Danavas pursue their pastimes in the vales. 

These, in short, are the regions of Paradise, or Swarga, 
the seats of the righteous, and where the wicked do not 
arrive even after a hundred births. In (the country of) 
Bhadraswa, Vishriu resides as Hayasiras (the horse - 
headed) ; in Ketumala, as Varaha (the boar) in Bha- 
rata, as the tortoise (Kurma) ; in Keru, as the fish 
(Matsya) ; in his universal form, everywhere : for Hari 
pervades all places. He is the supporter of all things ; 
he is all things. In the eight realms of Kimpurusha 
and the rest (or all exclusive of Bharata), there is no 
sorrow, nor weariness, nor anxiety, nor hunger, nor ap 
prehension j their inhabitants are exempt from all in 
firmity and pain, and live (in uninterrupted enjoyment) 
for ten or twelve thousand years. Indra never sends 
rain upon them ; for the earth abounds with water. In 
those places there is no distinction of Kfita, Treta, or 
any succession of ages. In each of these Varshas there 
are, respectively, seven principal ranges of mountains, 
from which, O best of Brahmans, hundreds of rivers take 
their rise. (From H. H. Wilson s Translation of the Vish 
nu Pur ana.) 1 

For further accounts of Puranic geography see Wil- 
ford s " Sacred Isles in the West," ch. iii. ; " Geographical 
Extracts from the Puranas," in " Asiatic Researches," 
vol. viii. 

1 The parentheses and vowel marks in the foregoing are Wilson s. 



(Illustrating pp. 136 ; 141; 144-146; 152; 155-158, etc. Also the 
Pillar of Atlas, pp. 350-358.} 

" MIT diesem Namen Skambha der so viel als 
Pfeiler, Saule, bedeutet, verbindet sich die Vorstellung 
eines den Himmel oder die Welt tragenden Korpers. 
Diese Vorstellung hat innerhalb des Veda eine allmah- 
lische Ausbildung erfahren. In Rigveda ist der Skambha 
urspriinglich als eigentliche Saule, als holzerner Pfeiler 
gedacht und ist so im Grund nur ein concreter Ausdruck 
fiir des Himmels Veste (vgl. IV., 13, 5 ; VIII., 41, TO). 
Es findet sich aber schon daneben die lebendigere Auffas- 
sung, dass derselbe ein Pflanzenstengel ist, wobei der 
My thus an die Somapflanze denkt. Hierbei erscheint 
der Skambha als mit Saft gefiillt (apurna aih$u, vgl. IX., 
74, 2 ; 86, 46), und es ist damit ein Bild des Himmels 
gewonnen, das das doppelte Moment des Festen (Auf- 
rechten) und Fliissigen gliicklich in sich vereinigt. Diese 
Anschauung tritt nun viel entwickelter im Atharvaveda 
wieder auf. Hier ist der Skambha zunachst als der Eine 
Grundpfeiler und Tragbalken des Weltgebaudes geschil- 
dert in den alle einzelnen Theile desselben eingelassen 
sind, und der das gesammte Queergebalke durchzieht 
(avi$, pravif). Himmel. Luft und Erde mit all ihren 
Korpern und Elementen, mit dern ganzen Kreislauf ihrer 
Phanomene und Katastrophen, alles ruht auf dieser 
Unterlage, vom Pragapati darauf gegriindet (X., 7, 7, 2 ff., 
35). Auch die Gesammtheit der Gotter wird von dieser 
Weltsaule getragen (X., 7, 13). An diese architektonische 
Auffassung reiht sich auch im Ath. Veda die Vorstellung 
eines Baumes, von dessen Aesten die Rede ist, dessen 
Aesten die Gotter selbst sind (vgl. X., 7, 21, 22, 38), und 
der einen Schatz bergen soil. Selbst in animalischer Form 



wird der Skambha dargestellt, so dass seine einzelnen 
Korpertheile unterschieden werden (X., 18, 19, 33, 34). 
Ja schliesslich geht der Mythus so weit, dass er diesen 
Weltpfeiler oder Weltbaum nicht bloss beseelt denkt, son- 
dern geradezu mit der Weltseele (Purusha) mit dem obers- 
ten Brahman, mit dem Praga pati (dem Weltschopfer) 
identificirt (X., 7, 15, 17, 8, 2), und die hierin enthaltene 
Personification tritt noch entschiedener zu Tag, wenn der 
Skambha sogar mit Indra zusammenfallt (X., 7, 29, 30). 
Mit Recht ist der elementare Skambha mit dem Atlas der 
Griechen und den Saulen des Herakles verglichen wor- 
den. Wie aber M. Miiller angesichts des Skambha und 
der oben vorgefiihrten Zeugnisse die Behauptung aufstel- 
len kann : " Es ist kein Beleg dafiir vorhanden, dass ir- 
gend etwas der Auffassung der Yggdrasil ahnliches je den 
vedischen Dichtern in den Sinn, kam " (Essays, Deutsch, 
II., 184 [Chips, vol. ii., 204]), ist mir unverstandlich. 
Vergleiche auch die Behandlung des Skambhamythus bei 
de Gubernatis Mithologia Vedica, pp. 273-299. 

Aus der spateren Entwicklung der indischen Mytholo- 
gie nenne ich noch besonders die Darstellung des Welt- 
baumes oder himmlischen Baumes in dem paradiesischen, 
bei der Quirlung des Oceans entstandenen, Parigata (Ko- 
rallenbaum, Erythrina Indica), der durch Krishna auf 
Wunsch seiner Gattin Satjabhama Indra entrissen wurde. 
Die Beschreibung des Baumes, sowie seiner Entfiihrung 
erscheint im Purina (Vishnu, Bhagavata) noch einfach 
(vgl. Vish. P. bei H. H. Wilson, pp. 585-588), sehr aus- 
fiihrlich dagegen und mit einzelnen Abweichungen im 
Harivaific.a. Er hat nach diesem die Eigenschaft, "de 
satisfaire tous les de sirs. Vous n aurez qu a penser, et 
aussitot par la vertu de celle fleur, qui saura s entendre et 
se multiplier, vous aurez des guirlandes, des couronnes, 
des festons, des parterres entirs. Cette fleur remedie a la 
faim, a la soif, a la maladie, a la vieillesse, etc. Bien plus, 
source de bonheur et de gloire elle est encore un gage de 


vertu ; intelligente et raisonnable, elle perd son eclat avec 
rimpie, et le conserve avec la personne attachee a son de 
voir." Siehe, Harivansa, trad, par Langlois, II., 3, 12. 
(J. Grill, "Die Erzvdter der Menschheit" vol. i, p. 358, 9.) 


{Illustrating Chapters i. and vii. in Part Four ; Chapter it. in Part 
Six, and other passages.} 

So herrscht gleich uber den Ort wo die Unterwelt zu denken set ein merkwur- 
diger Zvuiespalt. PRELLER. 

Bei Homer ist eine doppelte A nsicht von der Lage des Todtenreiches zu erken* 
nen, einma-l unter der Erde, und dann iviederum auf der Oberfliiche des Bodens 
in dem ewigeti Dunkel jenseits des ivestlichen Ocean. Die A nsichten voti den 
beiden Hades fliessen bestandig durcheinander. So weit aber die mil jedem ver- 
bundenen Vorstellungen zu sondern und einzeln aufzufassen moglich ist, mussen 
ivir sie darzulegen im Folgenden versuchen. VOLCKER. 

WHERE does Homer locate the realm of Hades ? 

In the whole broad field of Homeric scholarship it 
would be difficult to find a more fascinating question. 
Few have been more written upon. The literature of the 
subject is itself almost a library. No mythologist, no 
commentator upon the poet, no class-room interpreter 
even, can evade the question ; and yet, in their answers, 
the Homeric authorities of all modern times, whatever 
their nationality, present only a pitiable spectacle of help 
less bewilderment. Classifying these various interpreters 
according to the answers they respectively give to the 
question propounded, they stand as follows : 

First, a class who content themselves with the general 
assertion that the earth of Homer was a " flat disk," and 
that his Hades, like that of the ancients generally, was 
undoubtedly conceived of as a dark recess or cavern in 
the bosom of this earth-disk. Anything in the Odyssey 

1 Printed in advance in The Boston University Year Book, vol. x. 


or elsewhere inconsistent with this view is simply a play 
of poetic fancy. 

Second, a class if class it be who say with the 
genial Wilhelm Jordan, " Das Hadesreich der Odyssee 
ist die von der Sonne abgekehrte Riickseite der Erd- 
scheibe, die wriyQov, Gegenerde, eines weit spateren Zeit- 
alters. Von der ei 8w/)os apovpa und vom Gotterhimmel 
aus betrachtet bleibt es allerdings Unterwelt, wro KtvOeo-L 
ycuas, aber nicht als Erdinneres, sondern als jenseitige 
Oberflache." 1 Here the earth is still a flat disk ; but 
Hades, instead of being within it, is simply its under or 
reverse side. 

Third, a class who locate the shadowy realm on the 
same plane with the inhabited earth, but in the far West, 
just inside the Ocean-stream. This includes all commen 
tators who, locating Hades above ground in the West, 
place Kirke s isle in the same quarter, and hold that 
Odysseus did not cross over the Ocean-stream. 

Fourth, a class who locate it in the far West, just out 
side the Ocean-stream. This includes all commentators 
who, locating Hades above ground in the West, place 
Kirke s isle in the same quarter, but hold that Odysseus 
crossed the Ocean-stream. 2 

1 Fleckeisen s Jahrbiicher, 1872, vol. cv., pp. 1-8. 

2 Rinck, Die Religion der Hellenen, Th. ii., p. 459 : " Bei Homer 
ist das Schattenreich noch keine Unterwelt, sondern jenes liegt aus- 
ser dem von der Sonne beschienenen Bereich der Erde, jenseits des 
Okeanos." Here, and in some other writers, along with a retention 
of the unity of the authorship of the Iliad and Odyssey, we find an 
intimation that the perplexing discrepancy in Greek representations 
of Hades is due to a gradual translocation of it from the far West 
to the interior of the earth, in consequence of advancing geograph 
ical knowledge. Perhaps a separate class should have been intro 
duced, consisting of the representatives of this view. But had this 
been done, yet a fourteenth class would have been necessary to in 
clude those who, with Charles Francis Keary, exactly reverse the 
process, and make the oldest Greek Hades interterranean, and the 
trans-oceanic one at the West a later product. The Mythology of the 
Eddas. London, 1882 : p. 14. 


Fifth, a class who locate it in the far East, just inside 
the Ocean-stream. This class includes all who place 
Kirke s isle in the East, and hold that Odysseus did not 
cross the Ocean-stream in visiting the superterranean 

Sixth, a class who locate it in the far East, just outside 
the Ocean-stream. This includes all who place Kirke s 
isle in the East, and hold that Odysseus crossed the Ocean- 
stream in visiting the superterranean Hades. 

Seventh, a class who try to harmonize the conflicting 
representations by making the one set of expressions re 
late to a Hades in the bosom of the flat earth, and the 
other set of expressions relate to " the entrance " of the 
passage leading down to it from the world of living men. 
This class is again subdivided into four sub- classes, ac 
cording as they maintain a as-oceanic or trans-oceanic loca 
tion of this mouth of Hades, and place it to the East or 
to the West of the poet. 

Eighth, a class who hold that the difficulty is in the 
poet himself, he having got two incompatible mythologies 
mixed up together. 

Ninth, a class who try to solve all discrepancies by as 
signing the different representations in the two poems, 
and in different parts of the same poem, to different ages 
and to different authors. 

Tenth, a class who query whether or no it be not ad 
missible to hold that Homer had two realms of Hades, 
the one " subterranean," and the other " beyond the 

Eleventh, a class who, with Altenburg and Gerland, re 
solve the whole story of Odysseus descent to Hades into 
an astronomical myth ; l or with Cox see in it simply a 
mythologico-poetic expression for the prosaic fact that 
the Sun, the " lord of day," returning after his morn- 

1 " Odysseus in der Unterwelt." Archiv fur Philologie, 1840, 
pp. 170-188. G. K. C. Gerland, Altgriechische Mdrchen in der Odys- 
see. Magdeburg, 1869 : p. 50. 


ing and noontide wanderings to his western home, some 
times finds it necessary to make his way behind dark 
clouds. 1 

Twelfth, a class who point out the manifest difficulties 
of the problem, but frankly profess their utter inability to 
present a solution. 

Of the more important of the maps of " the world ac 
cording to Homer," those of Bunbury, Volcker, and For- 
biger are constructed according to the view of class 
fourth ; that of Ukert, according to the view of that di 
vision of class seventh who locate the Hades portal in 
the far West, just inside the Ocean-stream ; that of Glad 
stone, 2 according to the view of that division of class 
seventh who locate the Hades portal in the far East, just 
inside the Ocean-stream. Volcker, however, is inclined 
to believe in two Homeric Hades-realms, the one in- 
terterranean, the other at the West superterranean and 

Such are the multifarious, contradictory, confused, and 
despairing answers given to our question by the most 
learned and eminent of Homeric scholars. It would be 
an easy task to fill a volume with citations illustrating 
these various positions, and the ingenious but mutually 
destructive arguments by which their respective advo 
cates have sought to establish them. It will be more 
profitable to turn from such a Babel of ideas, over which 
the darkness of Hades itself seems to have fallen, and 
inquire what the poet himself has to say on the subject. 

The region of the dead is represented in Homer as 
one of perpetual night. Its name is Erebos. 8 From the 

1 Mythology of the Aryan Nations, vol. ii., 171-180. 

2 Mr. Gladstone has more recently abandoned the flat-earth theory, 
and tentatively advocated an interterranean Hades with its mouth 
downwards. See his Primer, London and New York, 1878, pp. 54- 
57 ; and Homeric Synchronism, London, 1876, p. 231. Perhaps this 
view also should have been included in the foregoing classification. 

3 " Denomination assyrienne." Felix Robiou, Questions Home 1 - 


name of the divinity presiding in it, it is generally called 
the house or abode of Aides (Hades). 1 That it was con 
ceived of as underneath the earth appears from the per 
petually recurring expressions, both in the Iliad and in 
the Odyssey, relating the descent into and ascent out 
of it. 2 In certain passages it is in fact expressly spoken 
of as "under the earth ; " 3 in others, as "under the re 
cesses of the earth." 4 Hence Aides himself is styled 
Zeus Kara;(#6Vio9, " the Subterranean Zeus." 5 

In the Battle of the Gods there is a vivid picture of this 
underworld and of its trembling king : 

riques. Paris, 1876 : p. 13. The Shemitic origin of this term is sig 
nificant. It prepares us to find an agreement between the Homeric 
and the Assyrio-Babylonian ideas of the realm of the dead. Mr. 
Gladstone says, " Long before ... I had been struck by the pre 
dominance of a foreign character and associations in the Homeric 
Underworld of the eleventh Odyssey." Homeric Synchronism. Lon 
don, 1876: p. 213. On the remarkably expressive cuneiform ideo 
graph for eribu, see the explanation given by Robert Brown, Jun., in 
the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, May 4, 1880. 

1 This term is also believed to be of Oriental origin, exactly corre 
sponding to the Bit Edi of the Akkadians. See the translations of 
The Descent of Istar. " Talbot regards, and I think justly, the usual 
etymology of Hades quasi Aides, invisible as an afterthought." 
Robert Brown, Jun., The Myth of KirkZ, p. 1 1 1 n. 

2 Iliad, vi. 284; vii. 330; xiv. 457; xxii. 425. Odyssey, x. 174, 
560 ; xi. 65, 164, 475, 624 ; xxiii. 252 ; xxiv. 10, etc. " Von einem be- 
sondern Eingang zu diesem unterirdischen Hades," remarks V dicker 
(Homerische Geographie, p. 141), " meldet der Dichter nichts ; viel- 
mehr gehen die Seelen, durch nichts gehindert, begraben und unbe- 
graben uberall unter die Erde." Granting this, there is no ground 
for his other assertion, " Dieser Hades ist nicht unter, sondern in der 
Erde." The immaterial shade can as easily pass through the whole 
globe to an opposite surface as through a thick crust to a central 
cavern. But see Mr. Gladstone s Homeric Synchronism, p. 222 : 
" There is not in all Homer a single passage which imports the idea, 
or indicates the possibility, of our passing through the solid earth." 

3 Iliad, xxiii. 100 ; xviii. 333. 

4 Odyssey, xxiv. 204. Comp. Iliad, xxii. 482. 

5 Iliad, ix. 457. Comp. iii. 278; xix. 259 ; xx. 61. Comp. Herod 
otus, ii. 122. 


Thus the blessed gods inciting, both sides engaged, and 
among them made severe contention to break out. But dread 
fully from above thundered the Father of gods and men, while 
beneath Poseidon shook the boundless earth and the lofty 
summits of the mountains. The roots and all the summits 
of many-rilled Ida were shaken, and the city of the Trojans 
and the ships of the Greeks. A ides himself, king of the 
nether world, trembled beneath, and leaped up from his throne 
terrified, and shouted aloud, lest earth-shaking Poseidon should 
cleave asunder the earth over him, and disclose to mortals and 
immortals his mansions, terrible, squalid, which even the gods 
loathe. 1 

But while the abode of Aides is thus clearly represented 
as under the earth, it is nevertheless represented as just 
across the Ocean-river, and capable of being reached by 
ship. In the eleventh and twelfth books of the Odyssey, 
the voyage of Odysseus to this region is described in the 
same apparently literal nautical terms as is the voyage to 
the Land of the Lotus-Eaters. And of his interview with 
the dead, Hayman says, " The whole scene is conceived 
by the poet as enacted on a geographical extension of the 
earth beyond the Ocean-stream." 2 There is no hint of 
any descent into the interior of the earth, no passage 
through or into subterranean caverns. The journey is as 
natural in all its aspects as any voyage from one coast of 
the Atlantic to its opposite. 8 Thus opens the eleventh 
book : 

1 Iliad, xx. 61 ff. That there may be no question as to the impar 
tiality of the translations given in this paper, the well-known and 
widely circulated version by Theodore Alois Buckley, of Christ 
Church, Oxford, is followed. A version giving more accurately the 
force of the verbs expressing upward and downward motion would 
in many passages be more favorable to the cosmological view here 

2 Henry Hayman, D. D., The Odyssey of Homer. London, 1866: 
vol. ii., Appendix G 3, p. xvii. 

8 " Von einem Hinabsteigen findet sich keine Spur. Wer beweisen 
kann, Odysseus sei im Innern der Erde gewesen, der versuche es ! " 
Volcker, Homerische Geographic, p. 150. 


But when we were come down to the ship and the sea, we 
first of all drew the ship into the divine sea, and we placed a 
mast and sails in the black ship. And taking the sheep we 
put them on board, and we ourselves also embarked grieving, 
shedding the warm tear. And fair-haired Kirke (Circe) an 
awful goddess, possessing human speech sent behind our 
dark-blue-prowed ship a moist wind that filled the sails, an ex 
cellent companion. And we sat down, making use of each of 
the instruments in the ship, and the wind and the pilot directed 
it. And the sails of it passing over the sea were stretched 
out the whole day ; and the sun set, and all the ways were 
overshadowed. And it reached the extreme boundaries of the 
deep-flowing Ocean, 1 where are the people and city of the 
Kimmerians covered with shadow and vapor, nor does the 
shining sun behold them with his beams, neither when he goes 
toward the starry heaven, nor when he turns back again 
from heaven to earth, but pernicious night is spread over hap 
less mortals. Having come there we drew up our ship, and 
we took out the sheep, and we ourselves went again to the 
stream of the Ocean, until we came to the place which Kirke 

Here the hero performed the rites and held the consul 
tation which Kirke had previously prescribed in these 
terms : 

" O noble son of Laertes, much-contriving Odysseus, do not 
remain any longer in my house against your will. But first 
you must perform another voyage, and come to the house of 
A ides and awful Persephone, to consult the soul of Theban 
Tiresias, a blind prophet, whose mind is firm. To him, even 
when dead, Persephone has given understanding, alone to be 
prudent, but the rest flit about as shades." 

" Who, O Kirke, will conduct me on this voyage ? No one 
has yet come to Aides in a black ship." 

" O noble son of Laertes, much-contriving Odysseus, let not 
the desire of a guide for thy ship be at all a care to thee ; but 
having erected the mast, and spread out the white sails, sit 
down, and let the blast of the North wind carry it. But when 
thou shalt have passed through the Ocean in thy ship, where 

i That is, the farther shore. See Volcker, p. 145. 


is the easy-dug 1 shore and the groves of Persephone, and tall 
poplars, and fruit-destroying willows, there draw up thy ship 
in the deep-eddying Ocean, and do thou thyself go to the spa 
cious house of Ai des. Here indeed both Pyriphlegethon and 
Cocytus, which is a stream from the water of Styx, flow into 
Acheron ; and there is a rock, and the meeting of two loud- 
sounding rivers. There then, O hero, approaching near as I 
command thee, dig a trench the width of a cubit each way; 
and pour around it libations to all the dead, first with mixed 
honey, then with sweet wine, and again the third time with 
water, and sprinkle white meal over it. And entreat much the 
powerless heads of the dead, promising that when thou comest 
to Ithaca thou wilt offer up in thy palace a barren heifer, which 
soever is the best, and wilt fill the pyre with excellent things, 
and that thou wilt sacrifice to Tiresias alone a black sheep, all 
black, which excels among thy sheep. But when thou shalt 
have entreated the illustrious nations of the dead with prayers, 
then sacrifice a male sheep and a black female, turning to 
ward Erebos ; and do thou thyself be turned away at a dis 
tance, going toward the streams of the river ; but there many 
souls of those gone dead will come. Then immediately exhort 
thy companions and command them, having skinned the sheep 
which lie there slain with the unpitying brass, to burn them 
and to invoke the gods, both mighty Aides and dread Per 
sephone. And do thou, having drawn thy sharp sword from 
thy thigh, sit down, nor suffer the powerless heads of the 
dead to go near the blood before thou inquirest of Tiresias. 
Then the prophet will immediately come to thee, O leader 
of the people, who will tell to thee the voyage and the meas 
ures of the way and thy return, how thou mayest go over the 
fishy sea." 2 

In the following passage Odysseus narrates how, hav 
ing arrived " at the place which Kirke mentioned," he 
fulfilled her commission : 

1 Buckley well expresses dissatisfaction with this rendering. 
Volcker translates the term " ein niedriges Gestade." It is per 
haps the low-down shore as contrasted with the upper or opposite 

2 Odyssey, x. 488-540. 


Then Perimedes and Eurylochos made sacred offerings ; 
but I, drawing my sharp sword from my thigh, dug a trench 
the width of a cubit each way, and around it we poured liba 
tions to all the dead, first with mixed honey, then with sweet 
wine, again a third time with water, and I sprinkled white meal 
over it. And I much besought the unsubstantial heads of the 
dead, promising that when I came to Ithaca I would offer up 
in my palace a barren heifer, whichsoever is the best, and that 
I would sacrifice separately to Tiresias alone a sheep all black, 
which excels among our sheep. But when I had besought 
them, the nations of the dead, with vows and prayers, then 
taking the sheep, I cut off their heads into the trench, and the 
black blood flowed ; and the souls of the perished dead were 
assembled forth from Erebos, betrothed girls and youths, and 
much-enduring old men, and tender virgins having a newly 
grieved mind, and many Mars-renowned men wounded with 
brass-tipped spears, possessing gore-besmeared arms, who in 
great numbers were wandering about the trench on different 
sides with a divine clamor; and pale fear seized upon me. 
Then at length exhorting my companions, I commanded them, 
having skinned the sheep which lay there, slain with the cruel 
brass, to burn them, and to invoke the gods, both A ides 
and Persephone. But I, having drawn my sharp sword from 
my thigh, sat down ; nor did I suffer the powerless heads 
of the dead to draw nigh the blood, before I inquired of 

So far it might appear uncertain whether the hero were 
really in Hades, or only near it, at some point accessible 
alike to the living and to the dead. But the lines imme 
diately following show that he was truly in " the house of 
Aides : " 

And first the soul of my companion Elpenor came, for he 
was not yet buried beneath the wide-wayed earth ; for we left 
his body in the palace of Kirke, unwept-for and unburied, 
since another toil then urged us. Beholding him I wept, and 
pitied him in my mind ; and, addressing him, spoke winged 
words : " O Elpenor, how didst thou come under the dark 
west ? Thou hast come sooner on foot than I with a black 


Thus I spoke, but he groaning answered me in discourse : 
" O Zeus-born son of Laertes, much-contriving Odysseus, the 
evil destiny of the deity and the abundant wine hurt me. Ly 
ing down in the palace of Kirke, I did not think to go down 
backward, having come to the long ladder ; but I fell down 
ward from the roof, and my neck was broken from the verte 
brae, and my soul descended to Hades." 

In line 69, Elpenor speaks of Odysseus " going hence 
from the house of Aides / " and in line 164, as elsewhere 
(x. 502; xi. 59, 158; xii. 21; xxiii. 324), the expres 
sions leave no chance to doubt that Odysseus voyage 
was a genuine descensus ad inferos?- 

Here, then, are the two grand tests of every proposed 
solution of the problem of the location of the Homeric 
Hades : 

I. Its Hades must be underneath the earth ; and 

II. // must be on the surface of the earth, beyond the 

This strange and perplexing difference, not to say con 
tradiction, in the Homeric representations, did not escape 
the notice of the older commentators and writers on 
mythology. Especially has it called out the ingenuity 
of German scholars. F. A. Wolf recognized it, but did 
not profess to be able to give an explanation. J. H. Voss 
invented the method of solving the problem by placing 
Hades itself within the bosom of the earth-disk, but its 
"entrance" on the westernmost point of Europe on the 
inner shore of the ocean. Volcker rejected this solution, 
but, in the absence of a better, cautiously suggested as 
we have seen the possibility of Homer s having held to 
two kingdoms of the dead, one within the earth, and one 

1 See Preller, Mythologie, vol. i., pp. 504, 505, where he says that 
the region visited was "die ganze und wirkliche Unterwelt, nicht 
etwa bloss ein Eingang in die Unterwelt." See also Volcker, Ho 
mer ische Geographic, 76. 


in the dark trans-oceanic West. 1 Eggers 2 and Nitzsch * 
inclined to the support of the Vossian compromise ; and 
in 1854 Preller could still speak of it as the one "at 
present chiefly prevalent." 4 Still, as Preller and others 
urged, nothing in the descriptions of the western Hades 
corresponds with the idea of a " portal " or " entrance " 
to a subterranean world extending so far eastward as to 
be situated under Greece and Asia Minor : 5 hence the 
latest interpreters have been as free as were the earlier 
to take their choice among the wild and contradictory 
conjectures classified at the beginning of this paper. The 
latest of these guesses is that of Jordan ; and, though it 
comes within a hair s-breadth of the truth, it has been the 
most ridiculed of all. 6 

As pointed out in earlier pages, the one false principle 
which has vitiated and confused all modern discussions 
of Homeric cosmology is the groundless notion that the 
earth of Homer is a flat disk. This mistaken presup 
position is responsible for the failure of all hitherto at 
tempted demonstrations of the true location of the poet s 
Hades. Once conceive of the Homeric Cosmos as rep- 

1 This, if allowed, would afford no relief; for, as Hentze says, 
" the subterranean character of even the Odyssean Hades can by no 
means be got rid of." Ameis, Anhang., Book X., 508. 

2 De Oreo Homerico, Altona, 1836. But Eggers located the Hades 
entrance inside the Ocean-stream, Nitzsch outside. 

3 G. W. Nitzsch, Erkldrende Anmerkungen zu Homers Odyssee. 
Hannover, 1840 : Bd. III., p. xxxv., 187. 

4 Griechische Mythologie, L, p. 505. 

6 See Preller : Mythologie, vol. i., p. 504. Eisenlohr, Lage des 
Homerischen Todtenreichs , 1872. Bunbury contents himself with the 
cool remark, " It is certainly not worth while to inquire what geo 
graphical idea the poet formed in his own mind of this visit to the 
regions of Hades." (!) History of Ancient Geography, vol. i., p. 58. 

6 See Kammer, Einheit der Odyssee nach Widerlegung der An- 
sichten von Lachmann-Steinthal, Kochly, Hennings, und Kirchhojf. 
Leipsic, 1873 : pp. 486-490. 


resented in the accompanying cut of the "World of 
Homer," and the problem of the site of Hades is solved 
at a glance. It is the southern or under hemisphere of 
the upright spherical earth. In this conception, whatso 
ever is " trans-oceanic " is also and of necessity " subter 
ranean." Now for the first time can it be understood 
how Leda and her noble-minded sons can be " on a geo 
graphical extension of the earth " on the farther shore of 
the Ocean, and at the same time i/e/a^ev y>}s (Od., xi. 
298). In this Cosmos, Hades cannot be beyond the 
Ocean without being also underneath the earth. On the 
traditional theory of a flat earth, the passage is and 
ever must be the palpable inconsistency which Volcker 
represents it. Even the theory of two or of twenty 
Homers does not reasonably explain it. Precisely so 
with the passages relating to Elpenor. His soul at death 
goes Kara x$ovo5, yet it is found with the other ghosts in 
the shadowy land just across the Ocean-river. So again 
with the passages relating to the shades of the slain Suit 
ors. These reach the Underworld (xxiv. 106, 203) ; 
but it is by a route along the surface of the ground to the 
Ocean-stream, in full sight of the gates of the sun and of 
the stars of the Milky Way (xxiv. 9-1 2 ). 1 Illustrious 
scholars have accused the poet of Widerspriiche grb ber 
und arger than usual in this account ; 2 but the whole 
trouble has been, not in the poet, but in the poet s inter 
preters. With the spherical earth, all is consistent and 
precisely as it should be. In this reconstructed Homeric 
Cosmos, every crosser of the Ocean-stream, whether it be 
Hermes, or Odysseus, or Herakles, reaches the groves of 
Persephone and the house of Aides. Wherever Kirke s 
isle is located, the " blast of the North wind " will drive 
the voyager thence towards the realms of the dead. In 
like manner it can now be understood how the stolen 

1 Porphyrius, De antro Nympharum, 28, explains that stumbling- 
block of commentators, " the people of dreams." 

2 Volcker, Homerische Geographic, p. 152. 



bride of Subterranean Zeus, while descending behind 
swift steeds to the Underworld, can yet for a considerable 
time behold the starry heaven, the earth, the sunlight, 



The World of Homer. 

For a convenient account of this reestablished world-view of the 
ancients, for the use of schools, see The True Key to Ancient Cosmol* 
ogy and Mythical Geography (third edition, illustrated, Boston, MeSSTS 
Ginn, Heath and Co., 1882), from which the cut is taken. 


and the fishy sea. 1 Though the god has power to pene 
trate the solid sphere, 2 it is down no yawning chasm that 
his chariot disappears. As far as we can trace him and 
his victim, they are still at the surface, simply moving 
from the upper to the lower hemisphere. 8 In perfect 
accordance with the requirement formulated by Volcker, 
Odysseus and his companions descend (xi. 57, 476), 
while the ghosts ascend (xi. 38), to reach the meeting- 
place on the lower edge of the Ocean-stream. Beautifully 
exact and strikingly natural is now the poet s declaration 
that Tartaros is "as far below Hades as earth from 
heaven," a declaration as fatal to many of the fifteen or 
more traditional explanations of Homer s Hades as it is 
to Flach s elaborate and ingenious diagram of the Hades 
of Hesiod. 4 With this inverted hemisphere for the king 
dom of the dead, Voss need not longer trouble himself 
about the mention of " clouds" therein. 5 In fine, with 
the correct Homeric conception of the earth and of 
Hades, the manifold alleged contradictions of the poet 
instantaneously vanish. Better than that, the dual im- 

1 Homeric Hymn to Demeter, 30-35. Foerster places the origin of 
this hymn early in the seventh century before Christ : Der Raub nnd 
Riickkehr der Persephont. Stuttgart, 1874 : pp. 33~39- See Sterrett, 
Qua in Re Hymni Home rid quinque Majores inter se different Anti- 
quitate vel Homeritate, Boston, 1881. 

2 Lines 16-18. Precisely so in the Indian epic, the Ramayana : one 
and the same point in Hades is reached, whether we accompany 
Ansuman digging through the heart of the earth, or follow the god 
dess Ganga along the surface of the earth and across the Ocean- 
bed. Book I., canto xl. Compare Odyssey, xi. 57,58. 

3 The much-debated Nysian field whence the goddess was stolen 
was in the land of the gods at the North Pole. Menzel, Die vor- 
christliche Unsterblichkeitslehre^ Bd. i., 64-67 ; ii., 25, 87, 93, ICO, 
122, 148, 345. 

4 Das System der Hesiodischen Kosmogonie, Leipsic, 1874. 

5 Odyssey, xi. 591. Volcker, while locating this Hades above 
ground far to the West, is also embarrassed with these clouds, since 
his Homeric heaven does not extend over the trans-oceanic region, or 
even over the Ocean : p. 151. 


ages of Hades, which have so long perplexed and blurred 
the vision of Homeric interpreters, suddenly resolve 
themselves into one perfectly focused stereoscopic pic 
ture of startling vividness and beauty. 

One ground of misgiving and doubt may possibly still 
occur to cautious minds. "Is it credible," it may be 
asked, " that the early Homeric Greek, unschooled in the 
exercise of the scientific imagination, could picture to 
himself that pendant under-surface of the earth as habit 
able even by ghosts? Could he so long before Newton s 
day have gained such knowledge of gravitation as to see 
how infernal rivers and infernal palaces could cling to an 
under-hemisphere ? That Aristotle and the Greek philos 
ophers of his age were able, we know from their writ 
ings ; 1 but is it credible that the Greek of the Homeric 
age was equal to such a task ? This proposed conception 
of Hades requires that we should think of a world where 
everything is upside down, exactly contrary and antip 
odal to our own. Can we believe that prehistoric men 
could achieve such a prodigy of abstract thought ? " 

A pertinent and perhaps sufficient answer to these 
questions might be given by pointing to a most curious 
and instructive funeral-custom among the modern Karens 
of Burmah. This tribe is certainly not more highly 
gifted or more highly civilized than were the Greeks of 
the heroic age, yet they have precisely this Homeric con 
ception of an antipodal Hades. A most competent author 
ity gives us the following account : " When the day of 
burial arrives, and the body is carried to the grave, four 
bamboo splints are taken, and one is thrown towards the 
West, saying, That is the East; another is thrown to 
the East, saying, That is the West ; a third is thrown up 
wards towards the top of the tree, saying, That is the foot 
of the tree ; and a fourth is thrown downwards, saying, 

1 See Dr. H. W. Schafer, Entwickelung der Ansichten des Alter- 
thums tiber die Gestalt und Grosse der Erde, Leipsic, 1868, quarto. 



That is the top of the tree. The sources of the stream 
are pointed to, saying, That is the mouth of the stream ; 
and the mouth of the stream is pointed to, saying, That 
is the head of the stream. This is done because in Hades 
everything is upside down in relation to the things of this 
world." * 

Striking, however, as would be this answer to the ques 
tioner, a better can be given. The better one points out 
to him the foolishness of the assumption that either the 
Greeks or the Karens originated for themselves their con 
ceptions of Hades. Both simply inherited from their 
fathers the old pre-Hellenic Asiatic idea of an antipodal 
Underworld. Ages ago the notion which underlies the 
Karen s rites was so prominent in the mind of the East 
Aryans that the sudden and inevitable reversal of the 
points of the compass, consequent upon entering the Un 
derworld, became a poetic circumlocution to express the 
idea of dying : thus, " Before thou art carried away dead 
to the Ender by the royal command of Yama, . . . before 
the four quarters of the sky whirl round, . . . practice the 
most perfect contemplation." 2 Ages ago the notion 
which underlies the southward voyage of Odysseus led 
prehistoric Akkadians, in naming the cardinal points of 
the compass, to designate the South as " the funereal 
point;" and in locating the kingdom of the dead, to place 

1 Mason in Journal of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, XXXV., Ft. ii., 
p. 28. Spencer, Descriptive Sociology, No. 5, p. 23. At least one tribe 
of our American Indians at the time of their discovery had a myth 
of creation in which the earth was conceived of as a ball. H. H. 
Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States, vol. iii., p. 536. That the 
same idea underlay the Hades-conception of the New Zealanders is 
plain from various indications. See present work, note on pp. 125, 

2 Mahabharata, xii. 12,080. Muir, Metrical Translations from 
Sanskrit Writers, London, 1879, p. 220. " To the gods this sphere 
of asterisms revolves toward the right ; to the enemies of the gods, 
toward the left." S&rya Siddh&nta, xii., ch. 55. Comp. Aristotle, 
De Casio, lib. ii., c. 2. 


it opposite the stars of the south polar sky} Through all 
the lifetime of Babylonia and Assyria, as through all the 
lifetime of ancient India, 2 the mount of the gods was at 
the summit of the earth at the North Pole ; its counter 
part the mount of the rulers of the dead exactly op 
posite, beneath the earth, and at the South Pole. 3 Hence 
life and light proceeded from the North, darkness and 
death from the South. 4 In like manner the Egyptians 
had their heaven-touching mountain in the farthest North, 

1 Dupuis, Origine de Tous les Cults, torn, i., 624. Lenormant, 
Chaldcean Magic (English edition), pp. 168, 169. On the significance 
of the South in Hindu belief, see Colebrooke, Essays, \o\. i., pp. 174, 
176, 182, 187, vol. ii., pp. 390-392 j Monier Williams, Sanskrit Dic 
tionary, Art. " Yama;" Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. v., pp. 284-327; 
and India literature passim. 

2 Surya Siddhanta, ch. xii. Journal of the American Oriental Soci 
ety, New Haven, 1860, vol. vi., pp. 140-480. Keightley, Mythology 
(Bohn), p. 240, n. 9. 

3 Of the latter mount, Lenormant correctly says that, in ancient 
Chaldaean thought, it is " situee dans les parties basses de la terre" 
but at times he incorrectly locates it in the West. In like manner 
the mountain of the gods " le point culminant de la convexite de la 
surface de la terre" he places not in the North (Is. xiv. 14), but 
often in the East or North-east. Origines de V Histoire, Paris, 1882, 
torn. ii. i, p. 134. See also Tiele, Histoire Comparee des Anciennes 
Religions, Paris, 1882, p. 177, where he speaks of the entrance to 
Hades as at the South-west. This is certainly a mistake, for the 
Akkadian expression mer kurra, " the cardinal point of THE MOUN 
TAIN," must, at least originally, have signified the North. And as to 
Lenormant s location of the antipodal mountain of Hades in the 
West or South-west, our latest German writer upon the subject, Dr. 
Friedrich Delitzsch, an eminent Assyriologist, affirms that in the 
cuneiform literature thus far known he has discovered no trace of such 
a location. Wo lag das Paradies? Leipsic, i88i,p. 121. 

4 " Nach der pythagoraischen, orphischen und neuplatonischen 
Lehre brachte der Nordwind Leben der Siidwind Tod, wohnten hin- 
ter dem Nordwind die Seligen und die Gotter als Schopfer und Er- 
halter der Welt, hinter dem Siidwind aber die Verdammten und alle 
bosen zerstorenden Urmachte." W. Menzel, Die vorchristliche Un- 
sterblichkeitslehre, vol. ii., p. 101 ; also pp. 36, 168, 345, and passim. 
Compare A. Maury, Histoire des Religions de la Grhe Antique, Paris, 
1869, torn. iii. 354. 


and an antipodal counterpart in Amend, or the abode of 
the dead. 1 As in ancient India s, so in ancient Egypt s, 
thought, this world of the dead was exactly the reverse or 
counterpart of the world of the living. 2 " The tall hill of 
Hades," like Ku-meru, is therefore a "pendent" one, 8 
the southern or under terminus of the egg of the earth. 4 

1 For the first, see Brugsch, Geographische Inschriften altdgyp- 
tischer Denkmdler, Leipsic, 1858, Bd. ii., p. 57 ; for the second, The 
Book of the Dead, passim. 

2 See Tiele, History of the Egyptian Religion (English edition, 1882), 
p. 68, " the reversed world ; " and the still more forcible expression 
in his Histoire Comparee (Paris, 1882), p. 47, " le monde oppose au 
monde actuel" Compare Book of the Dead (Birch s version), where 
it is styled " the inverted precinct ; " and Thompson s Egyptian Doc 
trine of the Future State, wherein Hades is described as " the inverted 
hemisphere of darkness," and where it is said to be " evident that the 
leading features of the Greek Hades were borrowed from Egypt." 
Bibliotheca Sacra, 1 868, pp. 84, 86. Still more recently Reginald S. 
Poole has remarked, " Now that we recognize the Vedic source of a 
part of the Greek pantheon, and its generally Aryan character, we 
may fairly look elsewhere for that which is not Vedic. If embalming 
were derived from Egypt, why not the ideas which the Greek saw 
surrounding the custom, the pictures of the Underworld, with its 
judgment, its felicity, and its misery ? The stories which Homer 
makes Odysseus tell, when he would disguise his identity, show the 
familiarity with Egypt of the Greeks of the poet s time." The Con 
temporary Review, London, 1881, July, p. 61. It would be better to 
say that Homer s Hades, while agreeing with the Egyptian and Baby 
lonian and Vedic, was not necessarily "borrowed" from either of 
these peoples, but more likely agreed with the Egyptian, Babylonian, 
and Vedic, simply because in each case there was a common inherit 
ance, a survival of still more ancient ideas of prehistoric ances 

8 Records of the Past, vol. x., p. 88. 

4 Tiele, History of the Egyptian Religion, p. 67 : " The heaven (at 
night) rests upon the earth, like a goose brooding over her egg." 
Chabas, Lieblein, and Lefevre have each maintained that the ancient 
Egyptians were acquainted with the spherical figure of the earth ; 
while Maspero, despite his language in Les Conies Poptilaires de 
Pgypte Ancienne (Paris, 1882, pp. Ixi.-lxiii.), in a private letter of 
still more recent date admits the possibility that the Egyptians held 
to such a view as long ago as eighteen centuries before the Christian 
era. In this connection it may be useful to state that Professor 


The assertion sometimes made, that the Egyptian Amenti 
was just over the hill to the west of Abydos, 1 is only 
worthy of such cosmologists as Popsey Middleton, or the 
still more illustrious author of the " Zetetic Astronomy." 

About a thousand years before Abraham went down 
into Egypt, at least, that is the date assigned by Egyp 
tologists, a scribe engrossed upon a papyrus a fair copy 
of a tale of shipwreck. It is now one of the treasures 
of St. Petersburg. At the Congress of Orientalists, held 
in Berlin in the year 1881, its existence was first made 
known to the modern world through the translation then 
submitted by M. GolenischefL The tale proves to be a 
kind of anticipation of the voyage of Odysseus to the 
realm of Aides. As in the Odyssey, it is the ship-com 
mander himself who narrates his adventures. There is 
no imaginative and poetic vagueness about the details. 
The ship was one hundred and fifty cubits long, forty 
broad. The crew consisted of one hundred and fifty men. 
Upon the Ocean he is wrecked, his crew lost ; he himself, 
however, is driven upon an island in the neighborhood 
of the nether world of the dead. Indeed, the place itself 
was called " The Isle of the Double ; " and it was, as 
Maspero believes, peopled by Shades invisible to the 
voyager only because he was as yet in the body. The 
king of the island was a huge serpent, thirty cubits long, 
and possessed of a wonderful beard. 2 

Tiele informs the present writer that he has abandoned his conjec 
ture touching Cher-nuter, expressed in his Vergelijkende Geschiedenis 
van de Egyptische en Mesopotamische Godesdiensten, Amsterdam, 1872, 
p. 94; French edition, 1882, p. 51 ; English edition, 1882, p. 72. 

1 As, for example, by Marius Fontane, Histoire Universelle, Les 
Egyptes, Paris, 1882, p. 154. The following is particularly timely : 
" While at Abydos I explored the mountain cliffs to the westward in 
the hope of finding early tombs in them. In this, however, I was dis 
appointed, as I came across only a few tombs of the Roman period." 
Professor A. H. Sayce in letter from Egypt in The Academy, London, 
Feb. 2, 1884, p. 84. 

z Les Contes Populaires de rgypte Ancienne, pp. 145-147. On the 


In what direction lay this mysterious land ? 

Not in the West, where all our Egyptologists persist in 
locating Amend, but in the South. Directly up the Nile, 
and out into the Ocean at its head-waters, lay the voya 
ger s track. As in the case of Odysseus, so many centu 
ries later, it was the blast of the North wind which bore 
him thither. 1 

In conclusion, if both the ancient Egyptians 2 and Chal- 
dasans 3 believed that like as the stars of the northern 
hemisphere are set over the realm of the living, so the 
stars of the southern hemisphere are set over the realm of the 
dead ; if in ancient Hindu thought " the gods in heaven 
are beheld by the inhabitants of hell as they move with 
their heads inverted; " 4 if in Roman thought 

conflicting views of Egyptologists as to the interpretation of terms 
designating the points of the compass, see Zeitschrift fur dgyptische 
Sprache, 1865, 1877, etc. 

1 The universality of the ancient belief that disembodied souls must 
cross a body of water to reach their proper abode has attracted the 
attention of Mannhardt, and led him to remark, " Da auch die kel- 
tische, hellenische, iranische und indische Religion diese Vorstellung 
kennt, so ist es von vorn herein wahrscheinlich, dass dieselbe liber 
die Zeit der Trennung hinausgeht." Germanische Mythen, Berlin, 
1858, p. 364. This is a far more reasonable explanation than the 
fanciful attempt of Keary in the work already cited, and in his paper 
before the Royal Society of Literature entitled Earthly Paradise of 
European Myths. 

2 Creuzer-Guigniaut, Religions de P Antiquite, torn, ii., p. 836. Comp. 
the language of the recently discovered epitaph of Queen Isis em 
Kheb, mother-in law of Shishak, King of Assyria (circa 1000 B.C.) : 
" She is seated all beautiful in her place enthroned, among the gods 
of the South she is crowned with flowers." The Ftmeral Tent of an 
Egyptian Queen, by Villiers Stuart, London, 1882, p. 34. Notwith 
standing this, Mr. Stuart, a few pages later, so powerful is the in 
fluence of tradition, alludes to Amenti as located in the West (p. 
49, also p. 27). But the inscription continues : " She is seated in her 
beauty in the arms of Khonsou her father, fulfilling his desires. He 
is in Amenti, the place of departed spirits." Comp. p. 33. 

3 Diodorus Siculus, ii. 31, 4. Lenormant, The Beginnings of His- 
tory, New York, 1882, pp. 568, 569. 

4 Garrett, Classical Dictionary of India, Art. " Naraka." See also 
Obry, Le Berceau de FEspece humaine, p. 184 n. 


" Mundus, ut ad Scythiam Rhipaeasque arduus arces 
Consurgit premitur Libyas devexus in austros : 
Hie vertex semper sublimis, at ilium 
Sub pedibus Styx atra videt. Manes que profundi ; " * 

if in Greek cosmology the tall Pillar of Atlas is, as Eu 
ripides makes it, simply the upright axis of earth and 
heaven, 2 then the earth of the ancients is incontestably 
A SPHERE, and Hades its under-surface. The " flat disk " 
notion is itself a myth, and a myth without foundation. 
In ancient thought, in a sense unrecognized even by the 
writer of the words, was it true, 

" The world of Life, 

The world of Death, are but opposing sides 
Of one great Orb." 8 


THE recent happy issue of the last of the three re 
lief-expeditions sent out by the United States government 
for the rescue of Lieutenant Greely and his starving 
band of heroes has given unusual popular interest to the 
great international undertaking in which he and his men 
were so perilously engaged. Still very few, compara 
tively speaking, understand the scope and promise of this 
first really adequate and hopeful scheme for the investi 
gation of Terrestrial Physics near the Pole. Mr. O. B. 
Cole, in 1883, described its inception and purpose as fol 
lows : 

The representatives of ten nations besides our own are en 
gaged in it ; the fields of observation are in both the Arctic 

1 Vergil, Georgics, i. 240, ss. 

2 Peirithous, 597, 3-5, ed. Nauck. Comp. Aristotle, De Anim. 
Motione, c. 3. Samuel Beal, Four Lectures on Buddhist Literature in 
China. London, 1882 : p. 147. Liiken on Atlas in Traditionen des 
Menschengeschlechtes. Minister, second edition, 1869. Also The True 
fCey to Ancient Cosmology, j>p. 13-21. 

3 Morris, The Epic of Hades (fourteenth edition). London, 1882.* 
p. 230. 


and Antarctic, as well as the intermediate regions of the 
globe ; there have been established eighteen Polar stations, 
and upwards of forty auxiliary stations ; the observations have 
been made during the year which will end with the present 
month that is, between September i, 1882, and September i, 
1883 ; they have been made and recorded daily, and bear upon 
the same identical points of inquiry. This scheme of obser 
vation originated with Lieutenant Charles Weyprecht, an Aus 
trian explorer of fame, who, however, did not live to see it 
carried into execution. He first broached it at a meeting of 
German naturalists and physicists held at Gratz on Septem 
ber 1 8, 1875. The plan was formally approved at a meeting 
of the International Meteorological Congress held in Rome 
in the spring of 1879. an d its details were perfected at other 
meetings of the same body held in Hamburg, October i, 1879, 
and at Berne, August 7, 1880. Finally, on August i, 1881, ten 
delegates, of whom General Hazen, chief of the United States 
Signal Service, was one, met at St. Petersburg and organized 
an official Polar Commission. All the members of this com 
mission had authority to act for their respective governments. 
The Polar stations were assigned among the nations as fol 
lows : The United States, at Lady Franklin Bay, Grinnell 
Land, and Point Barrow, Alaska ; Great Britain and Canada, 
at Fort McRae and Fort Resolution, on the Great Slave Lake, 
in British America ; Denmark, at Godthaab and Upernavik, 
on the west coast of Greenland ; Germany, at Hogarth Inlet, 
Cumberland Sound ; Austria, at Young Foreland, Jan Mayen 
Island, north of Iceland ; Finland, at Soudan Kyla, in Lap 
land ; Holland, at Dickerson Haven, mouth of the Yenisee 
River, in Russia ; Norway, at Bossekop, northwestern coast 
of Norway ; Sweden, at Mosel Bay, Spitzbergen ; and Russia, 
at Moller Bay, Nova Zembla, and Lighthouse Point, at the 
mouth of the Lena River. The Antarctic stations are those 
of Germany, on the South Georgia Islands ; France, at Cape 
Horn ; Italy, at Punta Arenas, in Patagonia ; and the Argen 
tine Republic, at Cordoba. The Polar stations are all within 
thirty degrees of the North or the South Pole, and the auxil 
iary stations are spread over the rest of the habitable globe. 
In his original presentation of the scheme Lieutenant Wey 
precht remarked that the unsatisfactory scientific results of 
the various Arctic and Antarctic expeditions are owing mainly 
to two causes : first, that the primary object of these expedi- 


tions has been geographical discovery, while scientific investi 
gation was secondary; and, secondly, that these individual 
voyages have been of an isolated character, and hence the ob 
servations made are necessarily deficient as compared with 
what would be gained by a properly scientific investigation, 
which should obtain, for combination and comparison, memo 
randa of magnetic and meteorological observations simultane 
ously made in all parts of the world under a uniform system. 
Such an investigation, he said, would be feasible only by the 
united action of the great nations of the world. 

By the plan adopted, the following schedule of work was 
agreed upon for each of the several stations : Meteorological 
observations : temperature of the air, temperature of the sea, 
barometric pressure, humidity, direction and force of wind, 
kind, amount, and motion of the clouds, rainfall, and weather 
and optical phenomena. Magnetic observations : absolute de 
clination, absolute inclination, absolute horizontal intensity, 
variations of declination and inclination, and variations of hor 
izontal intensity. All these observations were considered ob 
ligatory, and were to be made at each station hourly each day, 
excepting on the 1st and I5th of each month, when the read 
ings were to be made every five minutes. The following obser 
vations were considered desirable, and doubtless have gener 
ally been made : Variations of temperature, with height, solar 
radiation, evaporation, galvanic earth currents, parallax of the 
aurora, spectroscopic observations on the aurora, ocean cur 
rents, tidal observations, structure of ice, density of sea-water, 
atmospheric electricity, and the force of gravity. The several 
expeditions were started in season to arrive at their respec 
tive stations by the date assigned for beginning, September i, 
1882. . . . 

The station of the party of Lieutenant Greely at Lady 
Franklin Bay is the most northerly one of the whole, and is 
but about eight degrees south of the Pole. It is very difficult 
of access on account of the masses of ice that collect in Baf 
fin s Bay. It was arrived at in a vessel by Lieutenant Greely, 
though the start was made a year in advance of most of the 
other expeditions, under an apprehension that the vessel might 
be stopped by ice, and a long journey have to be made over 
land. The consequence is that the observations of this party 
began in the fall of 1881. It was the intention, however, to 
remain two years, and various stores were laid in and arrange- 


merits were made accordingly. Early in the summer of 1882 
a steamer was sent by the government with supplies for the 
party, but was unable to reach them because of the ice. The 
supplies were left at points designated beforehand by Lieuten 
ant Greely, whence he could convey them to headquarters by 
sledges. Another party was started this summer, and if they 
cannot reach him by navigation will employ sledges and push 
north till they meet him. He has instructions to retreat this 
season by sledge in the contingency of the non-arrival of a 
vessel, and to come down the coast of Grinnell Land. Either 
by vessel or on these coast-line sledge journeys the two par 
ties will undoubtedly meet, and probably something definite 
will be heard from them by the end of September. 1 . . . 

Point Barrow is on the northern or Arctic Ocean shore of 
Alaska, in latitude 72 north. The party stationed here is in 
charge of Lieutenant P. H. Ray. A relief vessel visited the 
place in the summer of 1882, and found all well. The obser 
vers reported that the preceding winter had been long and 
severe, but not exceeding in these respects what had been ex 
pected. Hourly meteorological observations had been kept up 
uninterruptedly from October 17, 1881, and magnetic observa 
tions from December i. From that date to August i, 1882, over 
90,000 readings of the magnetic instruments were taken, and a 
corresponding amount of meteorological work had been done. 2 

Last summer, just before the world had learned of 
the rescue of Lieutenant Greely, the commanders of all 
the different stations, Greely alone excepted, held a con 
ference in Vienna, and congratulated each other and the 
scientific world upon the success achieved. The recov 
ery of the extremely valuable observations of the then 
missing officer has now crowned and completed the 

1 Soon after the above was written came the disastrous news of 
the destruction and failure of the second relief expedition. 

2 Summary of a paper read before the Boston Scientific Society 
(from the Boston Daily Advertiser}. See also A. Bellot, " Observa- 
toires Scientifiques Circumpolaires," in Bulletin de la Scciete de Geo- 
graphie, Paris, I Trimestre, 1883, and the current scientific period 
icals. The last-cited article has a valuable map of the international 
system of stations. For an imaginary discovery of the North Pole, 
see Thos. W. Knox, Voyage of the Vivian. New York, 1884. 


grandest and most beneficent enterprise in which the 
Christian nations have for centuries, if indeed ever, en 
gaged. Most remarkable, perhaps, of all is the fact that 
in these several expeditions more than five hundred men, 
of various nationalities, were kept more than a full year 
within the Arctic Circle, transported thither and returned, 
and yet, but for a single mistake in provisioning one of 
the parties, not one life would have been sacrificed. 
What could be fuller of promise with respect to the future 
of polar exploration ? 

It is to be feared that stratigraphic and paleonto- 
logic questions have had too little consideration on the 
part of the scientific commissions which have planned 
the latest (as well as the earlier) Arctic expeditions. 
Whoever has read the fascinating pages of Heer s "Flora 
Fossilis Arctica," and Count Saporta s " Monde des 
Plantes avant 1 Apparition de PHomme " (see his chart 
opposite p. 128), and Baron Nordenskjold s exceedingly 
interesting researches and studies in Spitzbergen, cannot 
well avoid the conviction that the pick and shovel and 
hammer, intelligently applied anywhere within the Arctic 
Circle, are almost certain to give us facts of inestimable 
value both to natural science and to archaeology. 

The world hath lately made such comet-like 
A dvance on Science, we may almost hope, 
Before we die of sheer decay, to learn 
Something- about our infancy. . . . 


Thou seest hath holden fellowship with gods ; 

These rocks retain 

Their caverned footsteps printed in pure fire. 
Those were the times, the ancient youth of Earth, 
The elemental years, when Earth and Heaven 
Were one in holy bridals, royal gods 
Their bright immortal issue ; when men s minds 
Were vast as continents, and not as now 
Minute and indistinguishable plots 

With here and there acres of untilled brains , when lived 
The great original, broad-eyed, Sunken Race 
Whose wisdom, like these sea-sustaining rocks, 
Hath formed the base of the world s fluctuous lore. 




" Is memory capable of preserving through successive 
generations the facts of history, or whatever else peoples 
are continuously interested in knowing ? At first one is 
apt to say No, remembering how seldom two people can 
agree in their recollection of even the briefest saying or 
commonest occurrence. But look into the matter. Note 
how the power of memory differs in different people, and 
how it may be cultivated, and especially how it strength 
ens when systematically depended on, while, when little 
is left to it, it weakens. It is a small fact, but not with 
out significance, that among the first things which chil 
dren are set to fix in their memories, apart from any idea 
of sacredness, are long series of historical names, dates, 
and events, English kings, American colonists and 
presidents, far exceeding in difficulty those Israelitish 
histories which Kuenen thinks cannot be trusted because 
only preserved by memory. This shows that it is less a 
question of the power of memory than of how far memory 
is looked on as sacred, and guarded so as to hand on its 
contents unimpaired. As for evidence of the power of 
memory, what better can we desire than the well-known 
fact of the transmission of the Iliad, with its 15,677 lines, 
for generations, perhaps for centuries, before it was even 
written ? Yet even that is a mere trifle compared with 
the transmission of the Vedas. The Rig Veda, with its 
1017 hymns, is about four times the length of the Iliad. 
That is only a part of the ancient Vedic literature, and 
the whole was composed, and fixed, and handed down by 
memory, only, as Max Miiller says, by memory kept 
under the strictest discipline. There is still a class of 
priests in India who have to know by heart the whole of 
the Rig Veda. And there is this curious corroboration 
of the fidelity with which this memorizing has been car 


ried on and handed down : that they have kept on trans 
mitting in the ancient literal form laws prohibiting prac 
tices that have nevertheless become established. Suttee 
is now found to be condemned by the Vedas themselves. 
This was first pointed out by their European students, 
but has since been admitted by the native Sanskrit schol 
ars. Nothing could show more clearly the faithfulness 
of the traditional memory and transmission. It has, too, 
this further bearing on the date of the so-called Mosaic 
legislation : it shows that the fact of customs existing in 
a country for ages unchallenged does not prove that laws 
condemning such customs must necessarily be of later 
origin. But there is more that is instructive in the trans 
mission of this Vedic literature. There has been writing 
in India for twenty-five hundred years now, yet the cus 
todians of the Vedic traditions have never trusted to it. 
They trust, for the perfect perpetuation and transmission 
of the sacred books, to disciplined memory. They have 
manuscripts, they have even a printed text, but, says Max 
Miiller, they do not learn their sacred lore from them. 
They learn it, as their ancestors learnt it thousands of 
years ago, from the lips of a teacher, so that the Vedic 
succession should never be broken. For eight years in 
their youth they are entirely occupied in learning this. 
They learn a few lines every day, repeat them for hours, 
so that the whole house resounds with the noise ; and 
they thus strengthen their memory to that degree that, 
when their apprenticeship is finished, you can open them 
like a book, and find any passage you like, any word, any 
accent. And Max Miiller shows, from rules given in 
the Vedas themselves, that this oral teaching of them was 
carried on, exactly as now, at least as early as 500 B. c. 1 

"Very much the same was it with those Rabbinical 
schools amid which the Talmud gradually grew up. All 
of that vast literature, exceeding many times in bulk 

1 [See F. Max Muller, Origin and Growth of Religion. New York 
edition, pp. 146-161.] 


Homer and the Vedas and the Bible all together, was, at 
any rate until its later periods, the growth of oral tradi 
tion. It was prose tradition, too, which is the hardest to 
remember, and yet it was carried down century after cen 
tury in the memory ; and long after it had been all com 
mitted to writing, the old memorizing continued in the 
schools. Indeed, it has not entirely ceased even now, 
for my friend Dr. Gottheil, of New York, tells me that he 
has had in his study a man who thus knows the entire 
Talmud by heart, and can take it up at any word that is 
given him, and go on repeating it syllable by syllable, 
with absolute correctness. 

" In the presence of such facts, surely we must be pre 
pared to revise our ideas of what memory is capable of, 
ideas derived from the very limited uses for which 
we usually depend on it now. Such facts show that 
memory, consolidated into tradition, is perfectly com 
petent at least to act as an accurate instrument for 
transmitting along many generations whatever men are 
very anxious to have remembered. It is simply a ques 
tion of being anxious and of taking special care." 

After other interesting and impressive illustrations, 
drawn from the history of peoples in the most diverse 
states of culture, the writer closes as follows : " If there is 
anything in these facts which I have collected they mean 
at least this : that we may take up again the discarded 
traditions of the old heroic ages, and of the world s morn 
ing time, with far more confidence than has been usual of 
late years. Homer will be read with a new interest, and 
Herodotus, and best of all the world-old histories of 
the Bible. I know they will not give us detailed narra 
tives by which this or that point can be proved, or names 
or dates to be learned off as school-boy tasks. But they 
will give us glimpses of the ancient days ; pictures here 
and there of such men and women as loved and fought in 
those old buried cities of Hissarlik, or meditated by the 
Ganges, or wandered from Chaldea with Abraham, or 


followed Moses out of the mighty empire of Egypt into 
those wild solitudes of Sinai, pictures of life ; land 
marks of great deeds and thoughts and worships and 
laws ; a dawn to the history, not of abstract theories, nor 
of dazzling sun-myths, but of real peoples and real men." 
(Brooke Herford in The Atlantic Monthly for August, 



ADAMS, W. H. D., 248. 

Adenez, 19. 

Adhemar, A. J., 75. 

jEschylus, 271, 353, 355. 

Agassiz, Louis, 33, 438. 

Albertus Magnus, 305. 

Alcaeus, 238. 

Allen, Grant, 85. 

Altenburg, 469. 

Ambrose, Saint, 4. 

Ameis, 331, 339, 477. 

Ampelius, 31. 

Anaxagoras, 191, 192, 196. 

Anaximenes, 136, 192. 

Andersen, Hans, xii. 

Andree, 325. 

Anthon, Charles, 352. 

Apollodprus, 185, 271. 

Apollonius of Tyana, 238. 

Aquila, 26. 

Aratus, 281. 

Archer-Hind, R. D., 451. 

Argulf, Bishop, 227. 

Argyll, Duke of, 363, 408. 

Aristophanes, 355. 

Aristotle, 30, 51, 122, 135, 349, 481, 482, 


Arnold, Edwin, 271. 
Arnold, Matthew, 455. 

Bachofen, 393, 394, 432. 

Bacon, Francis, 182. 

Bailey, P. J., 491. 

Bailly, J. S., 116, 194, 244, 303. 

Baissac, Jules, 381, 382. 

Bancroft, H. H., 116, 229, 247, 260, 350, 

358, 482. 

Banier, Abbe, 424, 431. 
Barclay, J. T., 228. 
Baring-Gould, 9, 12, -582. 
Barlow, H. C., 308. 
Bastian, A., 131, 376. 
Baudissin, W., 266. 
Bauer, G. L., 369. 
Baumgarten, 205. 
Beal, Samuel, 133, 137, 184,211,212,260, 

272, 487. 

Beauvais, John of, 306. 
Beauvois, E., 41, 214. 355. 
Bellot, A., 490 
Bergaine, 118,257, 258,328. 


Bergel, 207. 

Berlioux, 39, 186. 

Berosus, 282. 

Bevan, W. L., 204. 

Birch, S., 484. 

Blackie, J. Stuart, 340. 

Blandford, W. T., 411. 

Bleek, A. H., 208. 

Bleek, W. H. J., 200. 

Boas, F., 56. 

Bceckh, Aug., 213. 

Boise, J. R., 456. 

Boivin, 344. 

Boscawen, 229. 

Bouche-Leclercq, A., 214. 

Bourgeois, Abbe, 448. 

Bowman, Henry, 253. 

Bradley, Henry, 29. 

Brauns, 245. 

Brewer, E. C., 272. 

Broca, 376. 

Brown, Francis, 26. 

Brown, Robt., Jun., 31, 221, 256, 257, 

266, 471. 
Brugsch-Bey, 124, 129, 173-175, 177-179, 

208-210, 224, 265, 266, 357, 484. 
Bryant, Jacob, 184, 185, 353. 
Buchholz, 117, 334, 34 o, 349. 
Buchner, F. K. C. L., 293, 294, 432. 
Buckle, Henry T., 432. 
u ckley, T. A., 334 , 343, 344, 47 i. 
Budde, Karl, 263. 
Bunbury, E. H., 117, 328, 335, 349, 470, 


Bunsen, Baron von, 125. 
Bunsen, Ernst von, 262. 
Burgess, E., 131. 
Burnet, Thomas, 27, 52, 312. 
Burnouf, 38, 133, 142. 
Burton, Robert, 270. 
Butler, A. J., 308. 
Butler, Samuel, 304. 
Buttmann, 356. 
Buxtorf, 257. 

Callimachus, 235. 

Calvin, John, 25. 

Campbell, Thomas, 202. 

Caspari, Otto, 34, 35, 375-382, 389, 39 , 

Cassini, 360. 



Castre n, 218, 257. 

Cautley, P., 289. 

Chabas, 173, 484. 

Chamberlain, B. H., 142. 

Channing, W. H., 143. 

Cheyne, T. K., 204. 

Chipiez, Charles, 229. 

Clarke, Adam, 205. 

Clarke, Jas. Freeman, 453. 

Claudian, 281. 

Clavigero, 247. 

Cleanthes, 136. 

Cohn, Ferdinand, 324. 

Cole, O. B., 487. 

Colebrooke, H. T., 483. 

Collignon, Maxime, 237. 

Columbus, Christopher, 3-6, 306, 435- 


Comestor, 4. 
Comte, Auguste, 316, 369, 371, 372, 390, 


Conway, 207. 
Cook, C. F., 160. 
Cope, Edward D., 297, 414. 
Cosmas Indicopleustes, 305, 306. 
Cox, G. W., 118, 351, 470. 
Creuzer, 135, 209, 214, 236. 
Croll, 85, 407- 
Crosby, Howard, 452. 
Curtius, Georg, 266. 
Curtius, Quintus, 236. 

Daly, C. P., 324- 

Dana, J. D., 323. 

Dante, 191, 307-309. 

Darmesteter, 134, 159-161, 198,208, 243, 

251, 252, 258, 264, 280, 318. 
Darwin, Charles, 33, 35, 46, 100, no, 

294, 297, 326, 387, 391, 395, 404, 411. 
Davids, T. W. Rhys, 272. 
Davies, John, 269. 
Dawkins, W. B., 411. 
Dawson, J. W., 87, 90, 102, 296, 321, 415. 
De Brosses, 368, 369, 390. 
Decharme, 118. 
D Eckstein, 38. 
Delitzsch, Franz, 39, 250. 
Delitzsch, Fried., 28, 39, 127, 170, 483. 
Deluc, 79. 
De Maistre, 411. 
Depuis, 125, 350, 483. 
Dick, Thos., 61. 
Dickens, 47. 
Diestel, 207. 
Dietelmair, 205. 
Dillmann, A., 20, 177, 178, 207. 
Diodorus Siculus, 163, 235, 236, 238, 486. 
Diogenes Laertius, 191, 192. 
Dionysius Harlicarn., 231. 
Dirghatamas, 242. 

Donnelly, Ignatius, 39, 180, 186, 306. 
Dorman, 196, 248. 
Douglas, R. K., 216, 451. 
Dyer, Thistleton, 90. 

Edkins, Joseph, 129, 216, 217. 

Eggers 477- 

Eisenlonr, 477. 

Eisenmenger, 145, 199, 209, 344, 357. 

Emeric-David, T. B., 235. 

Emerson, R. W., 417, 418. 

Engler, 39, 90, 287. 

Enoch, Book of, 20, 205. 

Euripides, 122, 255, 270, 348, 487. 

Everett, C. C., 456. 

Ewald, Professor, 38, 233. 

Faber, G. S., 230. 

Faesi, 343, 348, 353. 

Falconer, 289. 

Falies, Louis, 74. 

Farrer, J. A., 395. 

Fergusson, James, 270, 271. 

Figuier, G. L., 285. 

Finzi, F., 28, 39, 169, 264. 

Fiske, John, 313, 390, 395, 396, 407. 

Flach, H., 335, 480. 

Flammarion, 75, 214, 306, 349, 361. 

Foerster, 480. 

Folkard, Richard, Jr., 277. 

Fontane, M., 118, 485. 

Fornander, A., 213. 

Friedreich, 117. 

Fritz, H.,68. 

Froschammer, J., 381, 392. 

Gaffarel, 186. 

Garcia, F. G., 201, 358. 

Gardner, J. S., 74, 90. 

Garrett, 355, 486. 

Gaudry, 448. 

Gautier de Metz, 7. 

Geddes, W. D., 345, 346, 348. 

Geikie, Archibald, 60, 89, 91, 292. 

Geikie, James, 74. 

Gerland, G. K. C., 469. 

Gerok, Karl, 433. 

Gibb, John, 162. 

Gill, 158, 218. 

Gladstone, 331, 33*. 336, 451, 470, 471. 

Gobineau, Count, 42. 

Goguet, 424. 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 377. 

Gottheil, 494. 

Gottling, 324. 

Grassmann, 211, 241, 244, 258, 357. 

Gratacap, 298. 

Gray, Asa, 88, 90, 287, 288. 

Gray, Geo. Z., 457. 

Griffis, W. E., 141, 145, 165, 245. 

Griffiths, 149, 242. 

Grill, Julius, 28-30, 43, 161, 250, 256- 

258, 268, 269, 465-467. 
Grimm, Jakob, 207, 217, 273. 
Gubernatis, Angelo de, 273, 466. 
Guigniaut, 135, 209, 214, 486. 
Giinther, S., 310. 

Hackel, E-, 35, 296, 305, 326, 376, 407. 
Haliburton, R. G., 240. 
Hall, Capt., 83. 
Hamy, 443. 
Hardy, Spence, 131. 



Harkness, 297. 

Hartung, J. A., 341. 

Haug, Martin, 134, 158, 198, 208, 251, 

252, 268, 269, 280. 
Haughton, Samuel, 91. 
Hayman, Henry, 472. 
Hecatasus, 238, 270. 

5 G fu 7 Vx/ 73 87 ~ 9 96> 491 
Helbig, W., 329. 

Henderson, W., 232. 
Hennessy, 323. 
Hentze, 339, 477. 
Heraclitus, 257. 
Herbinius, J., 337. 
Herford, Brooke, 492-495. 
Herodotus, 136, 182, 300, 471. 
Herschel, 305. 
Hershon, 234. 
Herzog, 26. 

Hesiod, 255, 270. 281, 342, 345, 35. 35 , 

Hbfer, 38. 

Hoffmann, 359. 

Homer, 30, 31, 117-122, 134, 172, 184, 

213, 236, 238, 254, 281, 319, 328-361, 

429, 4 68 7 48 7 . 

Hooker, Sir Joseph, 88-91, 296, 324. 
Huet, Bishop, 23. 
Humboldt, 60, 238, 276. 
Hume, David, 364-369, 377, 384, 392. 
Husson, M., 276. 
Huxley, T. H., 376. 
Hyde, A. B., 457 . 
Hygmus, 31, 195. 

Ideler, 252, 256. 
Ihne, 348. 
Isaiah, 225. 
Isidore, Saint, 4. 

ohnson, Samuel, 143, 251. 
oily, Julius, 199. 
onnes, Moreau de, 238, 300. 
ordan, W., 468, 477. 
osephus, 30, 221, 360, 421. 
ubainville, H. d Arbois de, 276. 
usti, 156, 254, 268. 
ustinus, 186. 
uvenal, 281. 

Kammer, 477. 

Keary, C. F., 19, 156, 238, 276,327, 328, 

468, 486. 

Keerl, 85, 128, 247. 
Keightley, Thomas, 329, 330, 334, 339, 

Kern, Heinnch, 211. 
Kinn, Samuel, 64. 
Kjellman, 321. 
Klaproth, J., 42. 
Klee, Frederik, 71, 80, 193, 194, 197, 244, 


Klopstock, 84. 
Knox, Thos. W., 490. 
Koeppen, C. F., 131, 175, 229. 

Kracher, 35. 

Krichenbauer, Anton, 200, 360. 

Kuenen, 422, 492. 

Kuhn, A., 246, 268-271, 273. 

Kuntze, J. H., 215, 231, 392. 

Kuntze, Otto, 39, 59, 88, 92. 

Lacouperie, Terrien de, 222. 

Lactantius, 281. 

Lang, A., 372, 397. 

Langlois, 467. 

Lanman, C. R., 452. 

Lartet, Louis, 293. 

Lassen, 38, 153. 

Latini, Brunette, 309. 

Lauer, J. F., 172, 331. 

Lawrence, R., 21. 

Le Conte, 95. 

Lefevre, 173, 484. 

Legge, James, 142, 216. 

Leibnitz, 79, 80. 

Lemaire, 236. 

Lemstrbm, 68. 

Lenormant, Francois, 27, 28, 30, 38, 123, 

126, 127, 134, 148, 151, 157, 161, 163, 

165-171, 183, 186, 204, 220, 231, 233, 

237, 240, 256, 262, 264, 266, 267, 282- 

284, 363, 421, 483, 486. 
Lepsius, 200. 
Letronne, 192. 
Lichtenberg, 26. 
Lieblein, 173, 484. 
Lillie, A., 154, 175, 211, 229, 271. 
Livingstone, David, 22, 399. 
Loomis, Elias, 68. 
Loven, Sven, 320. 
Lubbock, Sir John, 292, 372-375, 377, 

385, 388, 392, 393, 399, 401, 402. 
Liicken, H., 143, 144, 185, 238, 246, 247, 

260, 271, 274, 279, 312, 487. 
Lucretius, 281, 377. 
Ludwig, 241, 355, 357. 
Luther, Martin, 25, 304. 
Lutwin, 250. 
Lyell, Sir Charles, 35, 60, 86, 89, 201, 286, 

296, 407, 413. 

Maedler, 195. 

Magnusen, Finn, 273. 

Maine, Sir H. S., 383. 

Major, R. H., 9, 437. 

Mallet, 217, 256. 

Man, E. H., 396. 

Manetho, 283. 

Manilius, 31. 

Mannhardt, W., 409, 411, 485. 

Mariette-Bey, A. E., 265. 

Marinelli, G., 307. 

Mason, 482. 

Maspero, 38, 174, 178, 223, 484, 485. 

Massey, G.,24, 29, 42, 125, 126, 154, 171, 

172, 177, 220, 222, 250, 259, 263, 265, 

270, 272, 276. 
Matthews, W., 201, 275. 
Maundeville, 2, 7, 9, 223, 227, 260. 
Maury, L. J. A., 267, 335, 483. 
Maury, Matthew F., 325. 



McClintqck and Strong, 23, 25, 204, 250. 

McCormick, R., 322. 

McLennan, D., 393. 

McLennan, J. F., 393-397, 411. 

Menard, Joachim, 168. 

Menzel, W., 135, 145, 146, 158, 167, 187, 

202, 207, 223, 264, 270, 276, 480, 483. 
Merrill, Selah, 226. 
Merriman, Mansfield, 323. 
Merry, 352, 353. 
Metchnikoff, Le"on, 141. 
Michelant, 228, 232. 
Middendorff, von, 297, 298. 
Middleton, Popsey, 485. 
Mill, J. S., 46, 50, 316. 
Miller, O. D., 30, 145, 163, 171, 210,229, 


Milton, John, 196, 197. 
Moerenhout, 401. 
Moffat, J. C., 432. 
Montfaucon, 306. 
Moreno, F. P., 91. 
Morris, Lewis, 487. 
Mortillet, 84, 372, 407, 411. 
Morton, S. G., 33. 
Moseley, H. N., 3 2o. 
Moses, 82, 287, 432. 
Mousket, Ph., 232. 
Movers, 212. 

Muir, W 149, 153, 355, 482, 483. 
Muller, iTiedncn, 100. 
Miiller, F. Max, 247, 370-372, 376, 423, 

Muller, K.O., 214,352. 
Murchison, Sir R., 21. 
Murray, John, 232. 

Nadaillac, 85, 185, 297. 

Naville, 179. 

Newcomb, Simon, 117. 

Newman, J. P., 21. 

Newton, Sir Isaac, 81, 82. 

Nicholson, Alleyne, 285, 286, 288-291, 


Niebuhr, 214. 
Nitzsch, G. W.,477. 
Noeldeke, Theodor, 40. 
Noire, 376, 395. 
Nonnos, 237, 271. 

Nordenskjold, 63, 71, 73, 297-299, 491. 
Nott and Ghddon, 33. 
Novo y Colson, Pedro de, 186. 

Obry, 12, 28, 30, 38, 230, 269, 486. 
Ongen, 234. 
Orton, James, 94. 
Ovid, 280, 282. 

Packard, A. S., 95,320. 

Packard, L. R., 352, 450. 

Packard, W. A!, 453 

Palaifatos, 200. 

Paley F. A., 118,324,342,356. 

Pastellus, 48. 

Paterson, J. D., 185. 

Pauly, 342. 

Pausanius, 30, 174, 234. 

| Payer, Lieut., 62. 
Peabody, A. P., 456. 
Peet, S. D., 453. 
Penka, Karl, 162. 
Penn, Granville, 28. 
Perrot, G., 229. 
Perry, E. D., 257. 
Peschel, O., 34, 35, 276, 376. 
Petromus, 377. 
Pfau, 342. 

Pherecydes, 187, 266, 267, 271, 355. 
Philo, 23. 

Philo of Byblos, 187, 326. 
Pictet, A., 341. 
Pierret, 219. 
Pietrement, 161, 280. 
Pirn, Capt. Bedford, 64. 
Pinches, T. G., 169, 222. 
Pindar, 22, 145, 185, 234, 238, 300. 
Piper, Ferdinand, 232, 273. 
Plato, 145, 158, 160, 181, 184, 195, 213, 

225, 238, 256, 279, 281, 282, 297, 350, 

419, 422, 424-432. 
Pliny, 28, 136, 297. 
Ploix, Ch. , 328. 
Plutarch, 20, 182, 209. 
Poole, Matthew, 205. 
Poole, R. S., 484. 
Porphyrius, 478. 
Post, Edwin, 456. 
Pougens, C., 97. 
Powell, 158. 
Preller, L., 182, 256, 271, 342, 350-352, 

355, 467, 476, 477- 
Pressel, E., 25. 

Pressense, Eduard de, 312, 362. 
Pritchard, 376. 
Proctor, Richard A., 193. 
Pythagoras, 193. 

Quatrefages, 34, 36, 97, 98, 375, 385. 

Rafinesque, 161. 

Rambosson, 60. 

Rau,C., 4 o8. 

Rawlinson, Geo., 155, 300. 

Reclus, E., 408. 

Reed, Sir Edward J., 140, 215. 

Regell, 213. 

Rein, J. J., 246. 

Renan, E., 38, 183. 

Renouf, P. Le Page, 210, 265, 266. 

Reville, A., 263, 275, 358, 386. 

Reynaud, 228, 232. 

Rhode, 160. 

Riddell, 352, 353. 

Rinck, W. F., 270, 341, 468. 

Ritter, Carl, 133, 154,244. 

Rive, M. de la, 68. 

Robiou, Felix, 470. 

Rochas, A. de, 407. 

Ronchaud, Louis de, 267. 

Roskoff, 386. 

Rosny, Le"on de, 140, 215. 

Saswulf, Bishop, 227. 
Saint Vincent, Bory de, 186. 



Sale, 155. 

Sanchoniathon, 187. 

Saporta, Marquis de, 56, 57, 88, go, 93, 

97, 99, 416, 437~449i 49 1 - 
Sayce, A. H., 31, 127, 212, 240, 257, 264, 

389, 451, 485- 
Schafer, H. W., 481- 
Schaff, Philip, 26. 
Scheube, B., 129. 
Schiefner, Anton, 218, 276. 
Schlegel, A. W. von, 362. 
Schlegel, F. von, 312. 
Schlegel, G., 216, 356. 
Schliemann, H., 360. 
Schoemann, G. F., 353. 
Schoolcraft, H. R., 248. 
Schrader, O., 161. 
Schroeder, Carl, 13, 261, 276. 
Schroeder, L. von, 193. 
Schubeler, 321. 
Schulthess, 145. 
Schwartz, W., 246, 267. 
Scribner, J. Hilton, 103, 224. 
Scudder, 459. 
Senart, 38, 269, 271. 
Servius, 213. 
Shome, 460. 
" Siddartha, ; 277, 278. 
Siebold, H. von, 245. 
Simonin, 34. 
Siouffi, 171, 210, 259. 
Skelton, Alexander, 303. 
Smith, George, 126, 169, 240, 257. 
Socrates, 239. 
Southall, 407. 
Spencer, Herbert, 212, 387,390, 391,394, 

396, 405, 411, 482. 

Spiegel, F., 133, 155, 198, 254, 268. 
Spiller, Philip, 59. 
Stanley, W. F., 82. 
Stedman, Edmund C., 313. 
Steen, A. S., 68. 
Stehelin, 209. 
Stephanus, 183. 
Sterrett, 480. 
Stillmann, W. J., 359. 
Stockwell, G. A., 3 14 
Stollberg, 128. 
Stone, C. J., 161. 
Strabo the geographer, 187. 
Strabus, Walafried, 4. 
Stuart, Villiers, 172, 176, 486. 
St. Victor, Hugo de, 7. 
Suidas, 200. 
Surius, Bernard, 227. 
Synimachus, 26. 
Symmes, 84. 

Talbot, Fox, 471. 

Taylor, 136, 174. 

Tennyson, 47. 

Thales, 193. 

Thayer, J. Henry, 453. 

Theodotion, 26. 

Theopompus, 185. 

Thiersant, Dabry de, 201, 248. 

Thompson, J. P., 484. 

Thomson, Sir Wm., 77. 
Thorpe, Benjamin, 273. 
Tiele, C. P., 155, 168, 265, 370, 452, 483- 


Todd, J. E., 77. 
Topinard, 297, 376. 
Trouessart, M. E. L., 91. 
Turner, George, 276. 
Twisden, J. F., 195. 
Tyler, W.S., 452. 
Tylor, E. B., 160,260, 319, 374, 400,401, 

407, 408, 422. 
Tyrius, Maximus, 136. 

Ukert, 117. 

Unger, 39, 186, 305. 

Van Vleck, J. M., 66. 

Varro, 214. 

Vergil, 83, 117, 182, 281, 487. 

Vernon, G. G. Warren, Lord, 309. 

Vigfusson, 158. 

Virchow, R., 409. 

Vogt, Carl, 294, 411, 438. 

Volcker, K. H. W., 3, 256, 271, 333, 33&, 

340-342, 344, 346, 347, 349, 355, 467, 

47!7473, 476, 478. 48o. 
Voltaire, 369. 
Voss, J. H., n 7 , 349, 476, 480. 

Wagner, Moritz, 100. 

Waitz, 376. 

Wallace, A. R. , 72, 83, 86, 91, 93, 95, 411. 

Waring, J. B., 179. 

Weber, A., 153, 269. 

Welcker, F. G., 236, 256, 353, 354. 

Wellhausen, 422. 

West, E. W., 134, 157, 160, 196, 243, 252. 

Wetzer and Welte, 23, 26. 

Whitney, J. D., 287. 

Whitney, W. D., 452. 

Wilford, 38, 129, 137, 153, 164, 229, 236, 

461, 464. 

Wilkins, Walter, 179, t8o. 
Wilkins, W. J., 149, 258. 
Wilkinson, Sir Gardiner, 180, 266. 
Williams, Monier, 149, 483. 
Wilson, Andrew, 413, 414. 
Wilson, Daniel, 67. 
Wilson, H. H., 241, 259, 464. 
Winchell, Alex., 34, 35, 58, 76, 80, 99. 
Windischtnann, 158, 160, 196, 252, 253, 

258, 268, 269. 
Winslow, C. F., 80, 195. 
Witt, C, 237. 
Witte, 308. 
Wolf, F. A., 476. 
Wolff, M., 269. 
Wright, G. F., 411. 
Wright, Thos., 223, 227. 
Wright, W. A., 32. 
Yule, Col. H., 273. 

Zaborowski, 98. 
Zenophanes, 193. 
Zimmer, Heinrich, 118, 149. 
Zoeckler, 35, 180. 


ABODE of the Dead, Homer s, 332, 467- 

Adam, Book of, 177; Adam s Peak, 9; 

Adam, where buried, 232. 
./Esars, Etruscan diviuities, 214. 
./Esir, Scandinavian divinities, 217. 
Africa, Eden located in, 4, 22, 42. 
Aiaie, location of, 332 ; purpose of, 331. 
Akkadian cosmology, 126, 127, 163-171, 

264, 483 ; mythology, 31, 171, 257, 264. 
Akkads, two, 168. 

Algae of the Arctic Ocean, 321, 322. 
Al Sirat, 155. 

Ame-np-mi-naka-nushi-no-kami, 215. 
Amend, Egyptian Abode of the Dead, 

173, 176, 177, 209, 266, 485, 486. 
America, Eden located in, 41, 42 ; peo 
pling of, 38, 56. 

Ancient literature, study of, 326-361. 
Anthropology, paleontological, 48, 97- 

Ape theory of the origin of man, 447- 


Apples of Paradise, 17, 276. 
Armenia, 24, 25. 
Assembly, Mount of the, 127, 128, 143, 

Astronomy, antediluvian, 67, 193, 214, 


Atlantis, 38, 181, 184-186. 
Atlantosaurus, the, 293. 
Atlas, 135, 136, 185, 212, 218, 236, 256, 


Aurora Borealis, 51, 62-70. 
Avalon, apples of, 17, 276 ; loadstone 

castle of, 15, 276. 
Avatha, throne of, 259. 
Azacol, world-pillar of the Sunis, 358. 
Aztec cosmology, 247, 350. 

Bathybius theory, 320. 

Bifrost, 155, 158. 

Biology, the study of, 313-325. 

Boat, spherical, symbol of the Earth, 


Bodhi Tree, the, 271. 
Botany, paleontological, 48, 87-92. 
Brain-tree, the, 27^7. 
Brandan, Saint, visits Paradise, 13. 
Bridge of the Gods. See Bridge of 


Bridge of Heaven, 140, 141. 

Bridge of Souls, 141, 144, 145, 155-158, 
270, 272, 275. 

Britain nearer Heaven than Southern 
Europe, 214. 

Buataranga, 157. 

Buddhist cosmology, 131-133, 211; Bud 
dhist Paradise, 12, 132. 

Bushmen, ideas of the, 200. 

Calvary, mounts commemorative of, 12, 


Calvin on location of Eden, 25. 
Calypso s Isle, 235, 236. 
Cannibalism, philosophy of its origin, 


Carson foot-prints, 297. 
Catagenesis, 414. 
Centre of the Earth. See Navel of the 


Centre of Heaven, 146, 202-224, 252. 
Ceylon, Paradise in, 9, 12. 
Cher-nuter(Karneter), 173, 485., 
Chinvat Bridge, the, 155-158. 
Chronometry of the anthropologists, 411. 
Chug of the Earth, the, 225, 
Chug of Heaven, the, 202. 
Churning of the Ocean, 357, 466. 
Circle, the quartered, 179-181, 247. 
City of Sakra, 132. 
Climatology, prehistoric, 48, 83-86. 
Clouds in mythology, 254, 265, 266. 
Columbus on ascent to Eden, 3-6 ; form 

of his Earth, 4, 306, 307, 435. 
" Compas," the, 227. 
Cone-shaped, the Earth, 136, 306, 307. 
Continents built up from North to South, 

94; their configuration, 106, 439, 440. 
Contrasts of the two polar regions, 91, 

Cosmas Indicopleustes, his geography, 

Cosmology, Ancient, 117-141, 143 ; " True 

Key" to, 117-123, 450-458. 
Cradle of the Akkadians, 169, 171; of 

the Aryans, 39, 161, 162 ; of the Shem 

ites, 39. 

Creation from North to South, 248. 
Cuneiform inscriptions, 27. 
Cup, the solar, 329, 330. 
Cyclops, myth of the, 327, 429. 



Damaras, their rain-giver, 260. 
Dante s cosmology, 307, 308. 
Darkness, duration of, at the Pole, 62-70. 
Darwinistic speculations, 35, 110-112, 

326, 327, 362-418, 447-449- 
Daylight at the Pole, 62-70, 197-201. 
Deathless Land, 10. 
Declination of the Pole, 192-196, 247- 
Deep-sea research, 320. 
Degeneracy of mankind, 281-284. 
Delphi, 234, 235, 237, 238. 
Deluge, the, 4, 24, 25, 47, 194-19. 2 S 8 > 

274, 298, 424-431 ; theory of, 75~ 82 - 
" Devil s Door," the, in churches, 207. 
Difficulties of our hypothesis, 54, 300, 


Directors, the seven, 142. 
Dispersion of mankind, 35, 437-450. 
Doves of Zeus, 237. 
Draco, 125, 175, 356. 
Dragon, guard of Paradise, u, 17, 125, 

et passim. 

Early types of life normal, 294-296. 

Earth, cooling of the, 59-61, 79, 84, 100, 

Earth of the Akkadians, 126, 163-171 ; 
of Columbus, 306, 435 ; of the Egyp 
tians, 124, 172-181; of the _ Hindus, 
150-156, 459-464 ; of the Iranians, 157- 
162 ; of the Japanese, 142 ; of the 
Greeks, 182-1^7, 328-359- 

East, the Garden eastward, 26, 27, 219- 

Eden, the Centre of the World, 234 ; the 
highest point of the Earth, 5, 6, 8. 
See Summit of the World. 

Egg of the world, 31, 484. 

Egg-hatching at opposite poles, 324. 

Eggs, fourteen inches in diameter, 292. 

Egyptian cosmology, 124, 172-181, 207, 

Eirek visits Paradise, 10-12. 

El, 202, 402. 

Electricity, the polar, 68, 253, 314, 322. 

Emlak, name of India, 8. 

Ends of the Earth, or World, 160, 174, 
241, 242. 

Enoch, 15; Book of, 20. 

Er, the story of, 145. 

Ethnology, 48, 97-991 110-112. 

Etruscans sacred quarter, 214. 

Euphrates, the historic, 28, 251 ; the pre 
historic, 29; as Ocean-river, 30, 72, 
171, 259. 

Fall of man from primitive family form, 

Fathers of the Church, .23, 27, 278. 

Fetichism not the primitive form of relig 
ion, 368-406. 

Finnic ideas, 218, 276. 

Fire drill, 380, 385. 

Flamens, 380. 

Flaming sword, the torrid zone, 24. 

Fountain of Paradise, 8, 9. See Rivers 
Of Parodist. 

Geogony, scientific, 48, 59-61. 
Geography, astronomical, 48, 60-70; 

mythical, 117-141. 
Geology, testimony of, 71-82. 
Germination as affected by positive and 

negative poles, 324. 
Glacial Age, 75, 82, 84, 95, 100, 105-113, 

161, 280, 296, 298, 304, 421, 445. 
Golden Race, the, 281, 405, 407. 
Gonds, their view of Hades and Heaven, 


Greely, rescue of Lieut., 488, 491. 

Hades. See Abode of the Dead. 

Heart of Earth, 246. 

Heart of Heaven, 246. 

Heavens of Kedem heavens, Ps. Ixviii. 

34. See Kedem. 
Heimdallr, 158.^ 
Hell, the Rabbinical, 199. 
Higher and lower organisms, 295. 
Highest part of the Earth. See Summit. 
Hissarlik, 494. 
Hlidskjalf, 217,218. 

Holy Sepulchre, Church of the, 226, 248. 
Homeric cosmology, 117-122, 328-361, 


Homer s year-day, 200. 
Homo alalus, 326; homo Darwinius,326; 

homo despiciens, 327. 
Horn of the World, 124, 126, 166, 174, 176. 
Hyperboreans, the, 22, 184, 185, 214, 237, 

238, 355. 403- 

Ice Age. See Glacial Age. 
Ida, Mount, 182, 232, 235, 256. 
Inverted World of Hades, 125, 467-487. 
Iran, the Ancient, 156-162,280. 
Irmensul, the, 273, 358. 
Island of the Congealed Drop, 141. 
Island, the White, of great Zeus, 182. 
Ivory, fossil, of the North, 297, 298. 
Izanagi s Spear of Jade, 140. 
Izdhubar, Epic of, 239. 

Jambu, the tree of, 148, 153. 

Japanese cosmogony, 140; other ideas, 

140, 141, 215, 245- 

Jerusalem, its earth-navel, 225-234, 248. 
Job s view of the North, 205, 217. 
Jordan, the river, 138. 
Judge of Heaven, 158, 217. 

Kedem, Qedem, Miqqedem, 26, 27, 218- 

224 (see the Heb. Bible), 421. 
Keltic Paradise, 12. 
Keshvares of the Iranians, 155-160. 
Kharsak Kurra, 126, 163-171. 
Khorda Avesta, 28. 
Kronos, Mount of, 231 ; reign of, 187. 

Ladder of Paradise, n, 144. J45> 1 S5" 

158, 270, 272, 275. 
Lalitavistara, 211. 
Lance, the shadowless, 135. 
Lemuria, the hypothetic, 35, 306, 386. 
Let6, birthplace of, 238. 



Libations to the blessed dead, 244. 
Life, exuberance of, 279-299; origin of, 

87-1 3> 317-325- 
Lingam, 401. 
Link, the missing, no. 
Literature, ancient, study of, 326-361. 
Livingstone, David, in search of Eden, 

Loadstone rock or castle, the magnetic 

Pole, 14, 15, 16, 276. Also Tylor s 

Primitive Culture. 
Lost arts in Homer s day, 329. 
Luther on location of Eden, 25, 304. 
Lycopods, size of antediluvian, 285. 

Macrobii, 403. 

Magnetism, terrestrial, 52, 68, 253, 314. 
Mahabharata, the, cited, 186, 319, 482. 
Man-beast, Caspari s, 378, 379. 
Mankind, Origin of, 33-43, 110-112,437- 


Man s power over Nature, 314, 416-418. 
Mediaeval cosmography, 305-309. 
Mediaeval ideas of Paradise, 13, 308. 
Memory, power of, 492-494. 
Meroe, 236. 
Meropes, 183. 
Meru, mount of the gods, 42, 129, 148, 

150, 154, 229, 259, 275, 461, 462. 
Mesopotamia, Eden not in, 27-31. 
Mexican Paradise, 260 ; earth-navel, 247. 
Milky Way, the, 156, 269, 479. 
Miqqedem. See Kedem. 
Mixteque cosmogony, 201, 358. 
Moon s orbit and Paradise, 8, 24, 258, 

259, 34- 

Morgue la Fe*e, 15-19. 

Mother-region of plants, 87-92 ; of ani 
mals, 93-96; of men, 97-101, 437-449. 

Mountain of the World, 122-137. 

Movement of the sun, 329332. 

Mystery and charm of the Arctic regions, 

Myth, Eden story a, 25, 26. 

Mythology, comparative, 48, et passim. 

Myths of the Greeks, origin, 326. 

Naga, 260. 

" Nail " of the old astronomers, 175. 

Navel of heaven, 202-218. 

Navel of the Earth, 51, 146, 147, 153, 

154, 157, 168, 170, 180, 187, 225-249, 

335) 350, 354- 

Nebular Hypothesis, the, 59. 
Night and day, one year, 50, 197-201. 
Night skies of Eden, 68. 
Nipple of the Earth, 42, 307, 435, 436. 
North, Avalon in the, 12 ; highest part 

of the world, 122, 151, 153, 168, 204; 

nearest the sky, 187, 214, 247; the 

sacred quarter, 202,218; "where God 

dolh work," 205, 217. 
Northern Light. See Aurora Borealis. 
Nysa, 145, 172, 202, 480. 

Ocean in the Veda, 328. 
Odyssey, true idea of the, 122. 

Oger visits Paradise, 13-19 

Ogygia, 236, 335, 336, 359. 

Olympos, 212, 338-350. 

Omphalos of the Earth. See Navel of 

the Earth. 
Origin of mankind. See Mankind. 

Palm, the holy, 270. 

Pamir, the plateau of, 36. 

Paradise, celestial, 9, 24; terrestrial, 3- 
22 ; the two connected by the world- 
pillar, 145, 146 ; a mountain, 4, 8, 24, 
etc. ; how connected with the moon, 
8, 24, 258, 304; inaccessible, 2, 4, 7, 
22, 432 ; its restoration promised, 458 ; 
wall of, 7, 8,178. 

Patriarchal system, 393, 424-431 ; Church, 

Pelion upon Ossa, 339, 341. 

Peplos of Harmonia, 266. 

Persea, the sacred, 266. 

Phallic worship, 381, 401. 

Philolaos, cosmos of, 212. 

Philology, supposed evidence of, 37. 

Phoenician mountain of the gods, 212. 

Physics, terrestrial, 57-82, 313-325. 

Polar research, latest, 487-491. 

Pole, immovable, 195. 

Pole, the magnetic, 14, 16. 

Pole star, 125, 146, 171, 192,216, 217. 

Pole stars, two, 130. 

Polocentric maps, 154, 159; zones, 95, 

Polyptych Olympos, 349, 350. _ 

Polytheism, the primary religion accord 
ing to Hume, 364-368. 

Posture in prayer, 129, 202-218, 303. 

Prester John s kingdom, 8. 

Primitive monotheism, 362-406. 

Puranic geography, 148-154, 240. 

Pyramids of Egypt, 209, 215. 

Qereb of the Earth, Ps. Ixxiv. 12. See 

Navel of the Earth. 

euadrifurcate River, the, 51. 250-260. 
uarter, the sacred, 51, 202-224. 

Rainbow, 155, 156, 158, 269. 
Ramayana, ideas of the, 149, 480. 
Raphael, the Angel, 20. 
Reed, the cosmic, 275, 355. 
Refrigeration ojt the Earth, 59. 
Religionless tribes unknown, 375, 385. 
Revelation, primitive, 404, 405. 
Rig Veda, 210, 211, 241, 242, 243. 
Rishis, the seven, 153, 190, 209, 211. 
River in the air, 52, 250-261. 
River of Death, 31. 
River of Life, 31, 152, 153. 
Rivers of Paradise, 3, 8, 24, 27, 39, 51, 

52, 127, 128, 130, 133, 134, 136, 1441 

152, 171, 179, 186, 250-261. 
Rivers of the Underworld, 31, 255. 
Roof-pillar, Earth s axis as, 140, 265. 
Root of the World, 165. 
Rope of the World, 31. 
Ru, the Polynesian Atlas, 158. 



Sabseans, views of the, 171, 210, 259. 

Sandalfon, the Talmudic Atlas, 356, 357. 

Satan, how located in the North, 207. 

Savagery not primitive, 386-392, 423. 

Sequoia, the, of Arctic origin, 285-288. 

Set, the Egyptian god, 209. 

Shadowless Lance, 135. 

Shamanism, 373, 380. 

Sheol, See A bode of tJte Dead. 

Simian origin of man, 447-449. 

Sion, the Hill of, 138, 144, 145, 232, 308, 


Sipara, the polar, 177, 421. 
Siriad, 421. 

Skambha, the World-pillar, 465-467. 
Son of nine mothers, 158. 
South Pole, associations, 120, 176, 205, 

206, 211,482-486. 
South, sunrise in the, 197. 
Southward spread of population, 56, 97- 

113, 116, 280, et passim. 
Spear of Izanagi, 140. 
Spindle of Necessity, Plato s, 358. 
Spine of the Earth, the, 357. 
Splinter, the golden, 358. 
Stars, motion of, at the Pole, 50, 191- 


Stature of the gods, 319, 349. 
Summit of the world, 7, 8, 24, 42, 50, 

123-137, 154, 167, 173, 174, 187, 202- 

218, 247. 

Sun -myths, 403, 495. 
Sun under the sea, 337. 
Sun, the City of, 70, 177. 
Sunrise sixteen days too soon, 63. 
Swastika, 180. 

Symbolical Geography, 30, 225-248. 
" Symmes Hole," 84. 

Taivahan Napanen, 218. 
Ta nuter, 173, 208. 
Tat-pillar, 173, 265. 
Telegonos, 332. 

Thumbling, the disembodied soul, a, 319. 
Titanosaurus, one hundred feet long, 

Tomochichi s theology, 399. 

Tong tree, 274. 

Totemism, 373. 

Tower of Kronos, 145, 358 ; of Para 

dise, ii. 
Tradition, trustworthiness of, 201, 422, 

Tree of Life, 3, 7, 30, 144, 148, 154, 243, 

257, 262-278 ; of Wisdom, 1 1, 262, 271 ; 

of the World, 172, 173, 262-278. 
Troubadour poetry, 13-19. 
" True Key, reception of, 450-458. 
Twilight, three months, 61 ; variable 

(compare S. Alexander in Johnson s 

Cyclopaedia, vol. iv., p. 989), 69. 

Ukko, Supreme God of the Finns, 218,